Algerian forces kill six armed men in south

AFP , Thursday 24 Nov 2011

Algeria's security forces kill six suspected of belonging to radical Islamist groups

Algerian security forces killed six armed men during a military sweep in the southwestern Tebessa region around 700 kilometres (435 miles) from the capital Algiers, media reported Thursday.

Security forces also detained a dozen men suspected of belonging to extremist groups during the operation that lasted several days, newspapers reported, citing an anonymous security source.

Those killed have not yet been identified.

Algerian troops often backed by helicopters regularly comb the vast country for Islamist militants, some of whom claim links to Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), which is active in the vast Sahel strip spanning parts of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger south of the Sahara.

Islamist violence has plagued Algeria for two decades but attacks have dropped significantly over the past five years.

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