Over 20 Algerian militants killed in clashes

More than 20 Islamist militants have been killed in a series of recent clashes with the Algerian military, which is stepping up sweeps of militant strongholds before legislative elections next week, news reports said Sunday. Liberte newspaper said the army had surrounded an insurgent stronghold near in the region of Tizi-Ouzou, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) east of the capital, Algiers, and the air force was pounding the zone with bombs. About 20 militants, including several leaders, have been holed up the area since Friday, the report said. Several bunkers used by the militants were destroyed in the bombings.