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4 Algerian troops killed in bomb attack

17 July 2013, 17:02

Algiers - Four Algerian soldiers were killed when two bombs struck their passing patrol in the region of Tipaza, west of the capital Algiers, media reports said Wednesday, adding the attack wounded another three troops.

The Tuesday attack appeared to have been pre-planned but coincided with the return home of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from Paris after a stay of nearly three months in hospital.

The attack occurred when the bombs, buried underground, struck the army patrol as it entered the wooded area of Damous near Tipaza, 70km from Algiers during a routine operation, the reports said.

A similar attack in the area in late April had killed three guards.

Drop in violence

Algeria has witnessed a drop in violence blamed on armed Islamists in recent years, but groups affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are active in Kabylie region, areas close to Algiers and in the south, usually targeting security forces.

The deadliest attack took place in January when 37 foreign and Algerian hostages were killed in clashes with Islamist militants who had seized a gas complex.

In 1990s Algeria witnessed a decade of fighting between troops and Islamist fighters in which some 200 000 people were killed, official estimates say.




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