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Fourteen Algerian soldiers killed in ambush

At least 14 soldiers killed after fighters attack a military patrol in mountains 120km east of the capital Algiers.

Last updated: 20 Apr 2014 17:32
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Rebels have killed 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush during a patrol in the mountains east of Algiers.

The attack in Tizi Ouzou on Saturday, 120km east of the capital, was the deadliest in years against the country's security forces.

The soldiers were returning from securing polling stations for Thursday's presidential election, which the government said was won by the country's ailing, 77-year-old incumbent, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in a landslide. 

Noone has so far claimed responsibilty for the attack.

Al-Qaeda's north African branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), is active in Algeria.

Elias Filali, a journalist reporting from Algiers, told Al Jazeera the attack comes off the back of Bouteflika's election victory at the weekend and seems to have taken place after a lapse in security.

Algeria fought a 10-year civil war against the political party the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), who supported the introduction of Islamic law in the 1990s, after invalidating a national election. 

Those fighting against the government are now largely confined to isolated regions, such as the Kabylie mountains.

The Kabylie mountains are populated by Berbers, North Africa's original inhabitants, who speak their own language and have long been disaffected from the central government.

The Tizi Ouzou region near Saturday's attack site had the lowest participation rate in the presidential election in the entire country.

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