Algerian army kills four Islamists near Tunisian border

An army helicopter flies over an area where the military is fighting armed Islamists, east of Algiers. (AFP)

Algeria's army on Monday killed four armed Islamists in El-Oued, the defence ministry said, meaning almost a dozen have been killed in the lawless desert region in the past two weeks.

Four Kalashnikov automatic weapons, grenades and ammunition were also seized during the military-led operation in the Bir El Kasira area, near the Tunisian border, the ministry said on its website.

The deaths bring the number of "terrorists" -- what the government calls Islamists who launched an insurgency in the early 1990s -- killed in the Algerian Sahara region over the past two weeks to 11.

Last year the Algerian army killed or arrested 157 "terrorists," according to figures from the ministry of defence.

A brutal civil war in the 1990s between the government and Islamists claimed the lives of some 200,000 people.

Despite adopting a peace and reconciliation charter in 2005 aimed at turning the page on the conflict, armed groups remain active in the centre and east of Algeria.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47