Clashes in Algeria have claimed the lives of two armed Islamic extremists and a civilian guard, while two shepherd boys were kidnapped, press reports said Thursday.
Two Islamic fighters were killed in a clash with security forces near Ain Defla, some 160 kilometers (90 miles) west of the capital Algiers, while a soldier was wounded and two army vehicles were set alight.
Elsewhere, a civilian guard was killed in an ambush by Islamic extremists some 300 kilometers (180 miles) west of the capital, according to press reports.
And two shepherd boys, aged eight and 12, were kidnapped by armed extremists at Remka in the same area. There was no immediate news of their fate.
Another report said an armed group set up a false checkpoint on a main highway running east of Algiers and forced motorists to hand over their belongings.
A truck driver crashed the barrier and managed to drive on unharmed.
None of the press reports could be confirmed by official sources.
Since the beginning of November, more than 50 people have been killed in violence linked to Islamic extremists, according to a tally made from press reports, amid fears that attacks will intensify during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which begins in two weeks.
The civil war in Algeria, which broke out in 1992 after the military stepped in to deny certain electoral victory by the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), has claimed more than 100,000 lives – ALGIERS (AFP)
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