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Algeria army says 2 extremists, 1 soldier dead in second clash within 24 hours

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Another soldier and two more extremists were killed Sunday afternoon during an “anti-terror” operation in the Tipaza region of Western Algeria, the defense ministry said.

The second clash in the region within 24 hours takes the number of “terrorists” killed there to six, along with three Algerian soldiers, according to the ministry.

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“During… (a) combing operation, still underway… a detachment of the national army killed… two more dangerous terrorists and recovered two Kalashnikov machine guns and ammunition,” a statement by the ministry said.

It named the latest dead Algerian soldier as Rachedi Mohamed Rabah.

Algerian authorities use the term “terrorist” to describe armed extremists who have been active in the country since the early 1990s.

Between 1992 and 2002, a civil war pitting the army against multiple extremist groups killed an estimated 200,000 people.

Over the course of last year, 21 militants were killed, nine were captured and seven surrendered during Algerian army operations, the military said in a tally published on Saturday.

State media reported late last year that the army thwarted a plan by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to redeploy.

AQIM’s leader Abdelmalek Droukdel was killed in June by French forces in northern Mali, but was replaced in November by Abu Obaida Yusuf al-Annabi, a well-known AQIM veteran and Algerian national.

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