Africa

Two Algerian soldiers killed in landmine blast

(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES).


(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES).

Two Algerian soldiers were killed and a third was wounded when a landmine exploded during a military operation in Ain Defla province, the defence ministry said Saturday.

The blast took place Friday as the army was carrying out search operations in the province, located some 150 kilometres southwest of the capital Algiers, “as part of the fight against terrorism”, the statement said.

Algerian authorities use the term “terrorist” to describe armed Islamists who have been active in the country since the early 1990s.

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Between 1992 and 2002, a civil war pitting the army against multiple Islamist and jihadist groups left an estimated 200 000 people dead.

A 2005 Charter for Peace and Reconciliation was supposed to have turned the page on the conflict, but jihadist groups continue to carry out sporadic operations.

The defence ministry said last month that the army had killed nine militants during military operations since the start of the year, while five had handed themselves over and three soldiers had been killed.


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