Al-Qaeda militants claim killing of 14 Algerian soldiers
The al-Qaeda militant group has claimed responsibility for the killing of 14 Algerian soldiers, after carrying out an attack against an army patrol in the southwest of the capital, Algiers.
On Saturday, the group’s North African branch, the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said their members were responsible for the armed ambush, late Friday in Aïn Defla Province.
The attack took place as the Eid al-Fitr holidays, marking the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan, were underway in the country.
The militants said in a statement posted online that their members who carried out the attack “on the first night of Eid, killed 14 soldiers in an ambush on an army platoon in the area of Djebel Louh.”
The statement added that the militants also managed to retrieve the troopers’ weapons.
However, the Algerian army released a statement saying nine soldiers had been killed and two others wounded.
According to the Algerian daily newspaper, El Khaber, the attack occurred on the road to Tifran, located southwest of the capital.
The attack comes despite a recent drop in terrorist attacks in the country.
Last April, 15 soldiers were killed in an attack in the country’s eastern mountainous region.
Last week, the Algerian Defense Ministry said more than 100 armed militants had been killed and captured during the first half of 2015.
The Aïn Defla region was considered a hub for militant groups back in the 1990s.