11 soldiers killed in Algeria ambush: source

Photo: 11 soldiers killed in Algeria ambush: source / Arab World

At least 11 soldiers were killed and 10 others injured late Saturday in an ambush attack by militants in northern Algeria, a security source said Sunday, Anadolu agency reported.

The militants targeted an army patrol combing a mountainous area in the northern province of Tizi Ouzou, the source said.

"The army forces managed to kill a number of terrorists during the ensuing exchange of fire, and a combing operation is underway," the source said, stopping short from stating the number of the militants' fatalities.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came only one day after preliminary results showed incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as the winner of Thursday's presidential polls.

Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz said on Friday that Bouteflika secured 8.3 million votes, representing 81.53 percent of the vote, handing him a fourth term in power.

Provinces east of Algiers are thought to be strongholds for militants associated with the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group.

Experts say that the movement's leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, otherwise known as Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, is leading operations against security forces in the area.

Some 220 militants were killed in Algeria between January and November of last year, according to unofficial tallies by the independent Commission for Truth, Peace and Reconciliation.

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