Algeria

Two Soldiers Wounded in a Terrorist Attack in Algeria

Chaima Lahsini

Rabat - Two Algerian soldiers and four other civilians were wounded in a terrorist attack on an army convoy this Saturday, in Bir El-Ater in the state of Tebessa, close to the Tunisian borders.

According to the French Press Agency (AFP), the soldiers were on routine patrol mission in the Bir Al-Ater region, when a homemade bomb exploded during the passing of the military units.

An anonymous source of AFP said that the attack was carried out by terrorist elements that were being hunted for some time by the military. Victims were transported to Bir El-Ater city hospital near the scene of the attack.

Algerian authorities have still not issued an official statement on the incident.

AFP also stated that, according to another security source, the soldiers patrolled between Bir el Ater and Negrine, on an axis that runs along the Tunisian border about 20 km inside Algerian territory, in a quasi-desert area. The explosion and the balance sheet have not been officially confirmed by Algerian authorities.

The violence attributed to armed Islamists, who have bloodied Algeria during ten years of civil war (1992-2002), has dropped considerably in the country but groups remain active and generally attack the security forces.

This is the second terrorist attack to shake Algerian soil in a week. Last Wednesday May 31, an Algerian gendarmerie dam was targeted by terrorists in the Blida region.

A statement from the Algerian Department of National Defense on Thursday, said that four gendarmes were slightly injured in an attack on their patrol by terrorists near Larbaâ in the wilaya of Blida.

Interestingly, neither political analysts nor public media echoed this serious incident. “It looks like nothing happened! While terrorists are active and raging terror across the country in the vicinity of our cities and our populations, it is serious to pretend as if nothing had happened," reported the French newspaper, Liberation.

While the information was, in fact, relayed by the Algerian authorities in an official statement, few media are reporting about it or commenting on it.

The statement said: "A gendarmerie patrol was targeted by gunfire on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 around 22:00, fired by a terrorist group in the Oued Djemâa area, Larbaâ commune, wilaya Of Blida, wounding four elements of the patrol.”

The Ministry of Defense announced in a communiqué, however, that  a sweep operation would be carried out by elements of the National Army to find the attackers.

On Friday, a statement issued by the Ministry of defense stated that the two Islamists who carried out the attack in the Blida region were killed by the Algerian army. “A detachment of the Algerian army eliminated, this (Friday) morning two dangerous terrorists," the communique read.

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