Algiers — Algerian terrorists suffered two major blows within the first 24 hours of 2013.
A total of thirteen terrorists were killed in two separate operations carried out by security forces in the province of Boumerdes, 30 kilometres east of Algiers, on Monday (December 31st) and Tuesday.
Over the past few months, security forces have been closing in on small terrorist groups still in hiding within the Boumerdes-Tizi-Ouzou-Bouira triangle, the traditional stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The first operation took place on Monday night in the locality of Keddara, where six terrorists were killed and a cache of weapons was seized. Security officers were conducting a large-scale search and sweep operation in the region on the basis of specific intelligence provided by two terrorists who had surrendered to the security forces the previous week, according to El Moudjahid, reported.
The second operation on Tuesday left seven more terrorists dead in the Oued Bahara area of Boumerdes, the defence ministry announced. The terrorists were part of the El-Feth brigade.
"ANP units engaged in the fight against terrorism were able to eliminate a dangerous terrorist group," the defence ministry said.
The army seized weapons, ammunitions, food and medical supplies during the operation in Boulezazen.
The defence ministry noted that this outcome bore witness to the "determination of the ANP to continue its efforts on the ground to put an end to the activities of the last remaining small groups of terrorists".
Of the seven terrorists killed, four have been identified. They are mostly former members of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which was active at the beginning of the 1990s and was particularly murderous.
On August 29th, nine terrorists were killed in a similar operation in Boumerdes.
According to figures published by El Khabar, security forces killed 198 terrorists and arrested 350 members of AQIM in 2012. Several terrorist leaders were killed or arrested during the course of the year.
The most recent incident occurred on December 16th, with the capture of AQIM number two boss and main spokesman Salah Gasmi.