A bomb intended to take out soldiers killed two youths from the same family in the restive Bouira region of central Algeria, newspapers said on Thursday.
The two, aged 12 and 14, were on their way home from an olive grove when one of them trod on the explosive device which had been buried in the ground, some reports said. Others said it had been placed in a bag under a tree.
The bomb was planted to target troops who use the area as a shooting range, said the newspapers, adding the security forces launched a hunt for the offenders in the nearby Ahl Regueb forest.
On December 20, an army colonel was killed in a gunbattle between troops and Islamists in the Bouira region, 125 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of the capital Algiers.
The clash reportedly broke out during a search operation for a "terrorist group" in the mountainous region after the arrest of a senior Al-Qaeda member in the area.