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» 22.01.2010 - US transfers two Guantanamo detainees to Algeria
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Politics | Human rights

10 Islamist rebels killed in security operation

afrol News, 25 August - Algerian troops have killed 10 suspected Islamist rebels during a security operation in southwest of capital Algiers on Sunday, Interior Ministry has said.

Security operation followed twin car bombings in Bouira town southeast of Algiers on Wednesday that killed 12 people and wounded 43. An earlier bombing on Tuesday, had killed 48 people, while guerrilla ambushes on Sunday killed 11 in areas east of Algiers.

"The 10 terrorists were shot down during an operation by the national army. The clash occurred near Tarek Ibn Ziad, 250 kilometers west of Algiers," said a brief statement from Interior Ministry carried by the official APS news agency.

Ministry told state news agency APS that troops also seized five Kalashnikov automatic rifles, a grenade launcher and four FSA semi-automatic guns in operation in Ain Defla province, 110 km from Algiers.

Al-Qaeda's North Africa wing has claimed responsibility for suicide blasts last week that claimed over 50 lives in an audio message sent to Arab satellite network, al-Jazeera.

Al-Qaeda in Islamic North Africa has claimed responsibility to the bombings, saying they were in retaliation of a police attack that killed 12 militants earlier in August. The group also claims to have killed 130 people this month and insists it only targets security forces and foreigners.

Algeria is emerging from more than a decade of conflict that began in 1992 when military backed government to scrap elections, a radical Islamic party was poised to win and 150 000 people died during ensuing violence.

Recent bombings highlight Algeria's inability to effectively stamp out terrorism, despite Algerian security services having improved their counter-terrorism tactics since the 1990s.

The violence has subsided in recent years but a hard core of rebels adopted the Al Qaeda name early last year and began copying the movement's tactic of high-profile bomb attacks targeting government buildings and Western interests.

The capital itself, protected by several rings of police and army checkpoints, has been spared since December 2007, when bombings at UN offices and a government building killed 41 people, including 17 UN workers.

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