Islamic militants in Algeria killed seven soldiers and wounded two others when they ambushed a military convoy, reported Reuters, quoting local newspapers.
The French-language daily El Watan said the attack occurred near Tebessa, 630 km east of Algiers on Sunday when a bomb set by rebels exploded near a military convoy patrolling the area.
"The rebels then sprayed the soldiers with machine gun bullets killing seven of them and severely injuring two others," it said.
Several newspapers confirmed Al Watan's report on the attack by the rebels who were believed to be from the radical Da'wa Wal Djihad (Appeal and Struggle) group, said Reuters.
El Watan added that government forces backed by helicopters and armoured trucks hunted for the rebels in the nearby deep forest of Eddoukane where they were hiding.
The attack brought to at least 50 the number of people killed since Saturday, the newspapers said.
Over the past two months, Algeria has seen an upsurge in rebel attacks against civilians and soldiers, dealing a heavy blow to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's peace drive, said the agency.
Da'wa Wal Djihad and the radical Armed Islamic Group (GIA) both dismissed as a sellout Bouteflika's peace plan to end more than eight years of violence.
Hundreds of people, most of them civilians, have been killed since January when Bouteflika's six-month-old amnesty to rebels expired, according to the agency - Albawaba.com
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