Algerian soldiers killed in attack on outpost

At least 13 people killed in worst attack by fighters since lifting of longtime state of emergency.

    The soldiers were reportedly attacked while watching President Bouteflika's televised address

    At least 13 Algerian soldiers have been killed by Islamist fighters in an attack on an army post east of Algiers, the Algerian capital, according to officials.

    Two fighters in the group were killed by soldiers at the post in Kabyle, some 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Algiers, the officials said on Saturday.

    The attack is the worst since the government two weeks ago lifted a 1992 state of emergency imposed after the military-dominated authorities scrapped an vote favouring an Islamic movement, triggering civil conflict.

    Security forces swept areas including the Yakourene forest, a hideout of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, on Saturday in a search for other suspects, officials said.

    The Algerian daily El Watan reported on its website that around 10 soldiers were killed in the attack late on Friday by a "terrorist" group at Azazga, 140km from the capital.

    Firing lasted for some two hours, according to the report, which was not officially confirmed.

    The attack reportedly came as the soldiers were watching a televised speech by Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president.

    In a televised address to the nation, Abdelaziz Bouteflika said he had decided to amend the constitution "to reinforce representative democracy" in Algeria, and that he will also launch other legislative reforms.

    "I will urge the parliament to review all the legislative framework," he said on Friday.

    Bouteflika, who has not spoken in public for at least three months, also vowed to take steps to tackle unemployment.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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