Many killed in Algeria desert battle

At least 13 fighters and an army officer were killed when Algerian military helicopters bombed a convoy carrying weapons across the desert, a news report said on Tuesday.

    Algeria's civil war has claimed up to 150,000 lives

    Algeria's army bombed three four-wheel-drive vehicles deep in the desert on Thursday near the North African country's southern border with Mali, El Watan newspaper reported.

    Fighters retaliated by firing a rocket launcher at the helicopter, wounding an army officer who died en route to hospital, the paper said.

    Defence officials did not respond to telephone calls seeking comment on Tuesday, a national holiday in Algeria.

    US training exercise

    The bombing came just days after the US military ended a three-week anti-terrorism exercise with African troops aimed at sharpening defences against fighters based in north and west Africa, including Algeria.

    Some 700 US troops and 2100 soldiers from nine African nations - including Algeria and Mali - conducted mock patrols, target practice and parachute drops from C-130 transport planes with hundreds of African soldiers.

    President Bouteflika says the
    insurgency is almost quelled

    US officials have said that as many as 25% of the foreign fighters in Iraq hail from North Africa and that a small number of fighters are returning home, trained in guerrilla tactics and bomb-making.

    The fighters targeted on Thursday are believed to belong to a branch of Algeria's Salafist Group for Call and Combat, or GSPC, El Watan said.

    The GSPC - said to have links to al-Qaida - is the most structured group among Algerian Islamic insurgents battling the state since 1992 in a bid to topple the government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.