Algerian authorities detained 17 people in Tissemsilt for their involvement in providing an al-Qaeda terror cell with information about the movement of police, gendarmerie and army.
“Within the context of fighting terrorism, (the authorities) arrested 17 people who support terror groups in Tissemsilt on October 20,” the ministry of defense said in a statement.
The daily Elibilad quoted security sources as saying that the arrests were made following investigations for weeks and after the authorities learnt from residents in the area that suspicious people were visiting the houses of some repentant terrorists.
According to sources, the statements of the two detainees helped detain the rest of the cell members. The rest of the cell members are being interrogated to know more about other members and the terrorist scheme that was being planned.
Meanwhile, armed forces have launched large-scale military operations in northern and border areas to track terror groups and smuggling barons. Security forces also shelled and destroyed terrorists’ strongholds and thwarted smuggling operations in the second, fourth and sixth military regions.
The Algerian air force’s fighters and reconnaissance aircrafts have intensified their flights in several areas in eastern areas as well as above mountainous and other strategic passages and border crossings, the sources also said, adding that additional army and gendarmerie forces have been dispatched to the eastern borders.
This comes amid recent reports that top army officials are supervising the monitoring of eastern borders and the execution of a new security plan that aims to prevent the infiltration of Algerian borders by Tunisian or Libyan armed groups, prevent the violation of Algerian airspace and confront smuggling of weapons via the country’s borders.
This article is also available in Arabic.