Algerian army kills 10 rebels


ALGIERS: Algerian troops killed 10 Islamist rebels on Friday in the eastern Kabylie region known as a stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a security source told Reuters on Saturday.
Between 3,500 and 4,000 troops backed by helicopters attacked a site between the cities of Boumerdes and Tizi Ouzou after intelligence officials heard that AQIM was planning to hold a meeting in the region.
“The operation is still ongoing and ten terrorists have been killed,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. The source said there was no confirmation of foreign media reports that the head of AQIM had been killed in Algeria, either in the Zabylie attack or another operation.
AQIM, the North African wing of the al Qaeda movement, carries out sporadic bombings and kidnappings in Algeria, but the level of violence in the country has dropped sharply in recent years.
Algerian security forces have been fighting an Islamist insurgency for two decades and some 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict, which was at its peak in the 1990s.