Magharebia (Washington DC)

Algerian Troops Kill Al-Qaeda Commander

Algiers — The killing of 12 AQIM fighters is the latest in a string of counter-terrorism successes for Algeria.

One of the twelve terrorists killed by Algerian security forces at the week-end was identified as the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) emir in Bordj Menaïel, Tout sur l'Algerie reported on Sunday (February 24th).

In their latest large-scale security operations, ANP soldiers eliminated four Chlef terrorists in Boukaal Medajadji. Eight other al-Qaeda fighters died Saturday morning in the Boumerdès town of Timezrit.

According to the defence ministry, three wanted criminals were among the dead. The army also defused bombs and seized weapons, grenades, ammunition and other equipment.

These operations reflect the determination of the ANP to "pursue remnants of terrorist groups, wherever they, until their utter elimination", a defence ministry statement said.

Over the last month, security forces and army units have stepped up actions against AQIM strongholds in the Kabylie region and on the southern border with Mali.

Army units eliminated four Ansar al-Din terrorists on the Mali border on February 16th. Security forces also killed two terrorists in Tizi Ouzou on February 11th.

Algeria saw other gains against terror groups in Tigzirt on January 30th and February 3rd.

Army units also managed to thwart attacks against government positions in the south. Two weeks ago, they prevented an attack on a military garrison in Khenchela.

"We see our security at stake from time to time, due to the prevailing situation in Mali on our southern border and because the evil of terrorism cannot be denied, and we will not slacken for a moment in fighting it," President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said in a recent message.

"The attack on the oil facility in the city of In Amenas in south-eastern Algeria on January 16th uncovered the brutality of the terrorist groups but showed also at the same time the capability of our military and our security forces who stood as one in response to this attack, which targeted one of the most important facilities in our country," he added.

During a ceremony to restart the Tiguentourine plant on Sunday, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said that Algeria was still a target for mercenaries in the service of international terrorism.

He called on the residents of border areas to be "more cautious and prudent", and to help security services thwart terrorist plots.

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