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Algeria says 12 suspected terror cell members arrested

The arrests were carried out during the past two weeks in army operations in Ghardaia

Published: Updated:

Twelve suspected members of a “terrorist cell” planning attacks in Algeria have been arrested in the south of the country, the defense ministry announced Wednesday.

It said the arrests were carried out during the past two weeks in army operations in Ghardaia, Laghouat and In Amenas, all several hundred kilometers (miles) from the capital Algiers.

The cell had been “preparing to carry out terrorist acts in the country with the complicity of other terrorist groups operating on the other side of the country’s southern border,” it said in a statement, without specifying whether it was Mali or Niger.

The ministry said there were “no human losses” during arrest operations.

In January 2013, the takeover by Islamist militants of Tiguentourine gas facility in In Amenas led to the deaths of 40 hostages, many of them foreigners, during a rescue operation by security forces.

Three militants were arrested and 29 gunned down.