Suicide bomb attack kills 15 prior to Algerian president's mosque visit -attack blamed on Al Qaeda
September 6, 2007
Algeria: 7 Militants Killed
By AOMAR OUALI – 1 day ago
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Security forces bombed a suspected militant hideout in Algeria early Wednesday, killing seven people believed to be responsible for a deadly ambush this week, officials said.
The alleged militants were in a cave near Lagla el-Malha, a village in the troubled Tebessa region about 370 miles east of the capital, Algiers, security officials said.
The seven killed were suspected of carrying out an ambush Monday that killed five security officials and one civilian in the eastern town of Henchir El-Hoshas.
The officials said a team checking the area near Lagla el-Malha bombed the hideout from a helicopter early Wednesday.
Liberte newspaper reported Wednesday that a group of militants had swarmed a neighborhood in the town on Monday, entered a house and slit the throat of a 50-year-old occupant.
Security forces arrived on the scene, but found it was booby trapped with homemade bombs and mines that detonated as they entered the neighborhood, killing five security officers, the report said.
The militants fled into the surrounding forest, launching a security sweep to find them, according to Liberte.
Located on the Tunisian border, the Tebessa region has been the site of several recent attacks by a local al-Qaida affiliate. In July and August at least 80 people — most of them armed militants — were killed in clashes in the region, according to local media outlets.
Algeria has been working to quell sporadic violence linked to an insurgency that broke out in 1992 after the army canceled legislative elections that an Islamic party was set to win. As many as 200,000 people have died in the resulting violence.
While large-scale violence died down in the 1990s, scattered attacks by Al-Qaida in North Africa have mounted in recent months.