Algiers -

Algerian soldiers killed four armed Islamists during a raid in the Boumerdes region east of Algiers on Wednesday, the defence ministry said.

The four Islamist militants, whose identities were not revealed, were killed near the town of Bordj Menaiel, said a statement carried by the official APS news agency.

The army had already killed three suspected members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which was born out of hardline groups that emerged during Algeria's 1990s civil conflict, on November 16 in the neighbouring region of Tizi Ouzou.

Following the brutal decade-long war that left up to 200 000 people dead, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika started a process of national reconciliation and offered amnesty to all Islamists.

Former members of the Armed Islamic Group and its offshoots who have since proclaimed their allegiance to al-Qaeda have largely been flushed out, but incidents remain frequent in Kabylie, east of Algiers. - Sapa-AFP