Algeria says militant chief killed

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, March 15, 2016
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A militant leader who joined the Islamic State jihadist group was killed in an army operation west of the Algerian capital, a security source said on Monday.

Mouloud Baal, also known as Abou El Moundhir, was a former member of the extremist Armed Islamic Front (GIA) which battled the Algiers government during the 1990s.

He later formed his own group which participated in twin suicide attacks against Algeria’s Cherchell military institution in August 2011, claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Baal, who joined IS in 2015, was killed on Sunday during an military raid in the Oued-Sebt area of Gouraya region, west of Algiers, the source said.

The operation took place in the same area where Baal’s men planted a roadside bomb two weeks ago targeting a police convoy, the source added.

The defence ministry said a “dangerous terrorist” was killed in the Oued-Sebt operation, during which a Kalashnikov assault rifle and ammunition were seized.

A brutal civil war in the 1990s between the government and Islamists killed 200 000 people.

Despite adopting a peace and reconciliation charter in 2005 aimed at turning the page on the conflict, armed groups remain active in the centre and east of Algeria.

A total of “157 terrorists, including 10 commanders” were killed or arrested in military operations last year, according to the defence ministry.

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