Militants kill 13 soldiers east of Algiers: security source

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2011 11:47 AM
Militants kill 13 soldiers east of Algiers: security source

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Islamist militants killed 13 Algerian soldiers in the country's northern Kabylie region, the deadliest attack in months, a security source told Reuters on Saturday.

The ambush was located between Azazga and Yakouren, east of the city of Tizi Ouzou, an area considered a stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

"The attack was Friday at around 19:15," the security source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Al Qaeda's north African wing, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), has claimed responsibility for a string of bombings and attacks in the OPEC member country in recent years.

The group is the remnants of a much bigger insurgency that waged civil war in Algeria in the 1990s in which an estimated 200,000 people were killed. The violence has largely subsided after the government offered successive amnesties to encourage rebels to disarm.

(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi, Editing by Peter Graff)