Press: Thirteen Soldiers, Six Islamists Killed in Algerian Clash
Thirteen soldiers and six armed Islamists were killed in a clash near Sidi Bel Abbes, 440 kilometers (275 miles) southwest of Algiers, several press reports were quoted as saying by AFP Saturday.
The clash occurred late on Thursday when about 100 Islamists from the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) intercepted soldiers combing a nearby wooded area, the daily Liberte reported.
The heavily-armed group had reportedly fled a few days ago from the Chelf and Relizane regions west of Algiers, where the army had launched underground operations against them, the papers said.
It was the second clash in three days in the area. Twelve Islamic militants and two soldiers died on Tuesday near Sidi Bel Abbes, said the agency.
Last Friday, reports said that Islamic extremists killed seven shepherds in an attack in the west of the country.
Five of the victims, all of whom had their throats cut, were children.
The attack took place in the mountainous Chlef region where the extremists have set up a stronghold.
At least a-hundred civilians are reported to have been killed in attacks by the rebels this year – Albawaba.com