Algerian army kills 17 'al-Qaeda militants'

Algerian army kills 17 'al-Qaeda militants'
A source tells al-Araby al-Jadeed that the in the Algerian military has killed at least 17 'al-Qaeda militants' in retaliation for the recent ambush that killed 9 soldiers.
2 min read
21 July, 2015
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for Friday's attack on Algerian troops [Getty]
The Algerian military has killed at least 17 al-Qaeda militants in operations in the mountainous region between the provinces of Medea and Ain Defla after militants killed 9 soldiers in an ambush on Friday.

A military official told al-Araby al-Jadeed the army has recovered the dead bodies of 17 militants killed in a four day siege, which began on Friday evening. The source added it was likely other militants were killed in the revenge attack.

The ministry of defense has as of yet not announced official figures or details of the military operation.

“The ministry will definitely not issue a statement until the operations come to an end,” the source said.

The source commented on the criticism against the ministry of defense for the two day delay in announcing the militant attack and the deaths of the soldiers, after the media released conflicting numbers on the dead in the attack.

“The ministry had absolutely no intentions of covering up this crime, the delay was because it did not want to ruin the Eid al-Fitr celebrations for Algerians and the families of the nine soldiers, who were killed on the same day Eid al-Fitr began,” the source said.

Social media users and the local press strongly criticized what they described as the Algerian authorities’ delay in announcing the militant attack, which was followed on Saturday with the killing of 3 policemen in the same region and only a week after an attack on a security checkpoint in Bouira Province that injured four policemen.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, which was the deadliest since the militant group attacked an army unit in April last year, on the day after the presidential elections, which left 16 soldiers dead.