ALGIERS - At least nine Algerian soldiers were killed when Islamist militants ambushed their patrol west of the capital Algiers last week in one of the deadliest attacks in months, the defense ministry said on Sunday.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed Friday's attack in the Ain Defla region in a statement posted on a social media account that often releases its communiques.
A security source on Saturday had said 11 soldiers were killed. Sunday's statement from the ministry was the first official confirmation of the attack.
"A detachment of the army was targeted by a terrorist group. We deplore the death of nine soldiers as martyrs and two injured," the ministry statement said.
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