Algerian troops kill three alleged militants

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Algiers - Algerian troops killed three suspected militants on Wednesday as they pressed a sweep through the mountains east of Algiers, which has now killed eight since March 11, the defence ministry said.

The operation focused on an area of the mainly Berber Kabylie region close to the Mediterranean coast, ministry statements carried by the national APS news agency said.

A commander of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has already been killed in the sweep through the Aghribs area of Tizi Ouzou province.

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

There has been a drop of violence in recent years, although groups affiliated with AQIM have remained active in the Kabylie region, as well as southeast of Algiers, usually targeting security forces.

The deadliest attack took place in January last year when 37 foreign and Algerian hostages were killed in clashes with Islamist militants who had seized a gas complex deep in the Sahara Desert. - Sapa-AFP

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