Algeria army kills three Islamists: ministry

The three militants were killed in the Biskra region, 400 kilometres (250 miles) from Algiers

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Algerian soldiers shot dead three armed Islamists southeast of the capital on Tuesday, a defence ministry statement said.

It said special forces killed the three militants in the Biskra region, 400 kilometres (250 miles) from Algiers, and that guns and ammunition were recovered.

On Monday, army chief of staff and Deputy Defence Minister Ahmed Gaid Salah said Algeria was determined to prevent a resurgence of the "terrorism" that plagued the country in the 1990s.

Also on Monday, the defence ministry said a "criminal group" of 12 Sudanese and eight Chadians had been arrested on the border with Niger.

Islamist militants, some of them loyal to Al-Qaeda, remain active in several areas of Algeria more than a decade after the end of the country's devastating 1992-2002 civil war.

According to the army, more than 70 armed Islamists have been killed this year.

On September 28, Islamist gunmen killed two soldiers in western Algeria less than a week after jihadist-linked militants beheaded a French hostage, Herve Gourdel.

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