Algerian forces kill 9 suspected Islamic militants

Algerian forces killed nine suspected Islamic militants in separate raids in western Algeria that were part of a new security sweep, local officials and the official news agency said Saturday. The violence was part of two days of deadly clashes across the northern rim of the vast North African country that left a total of 12 people dead, including a soldier and two civilians. Algeria has been swept up in new violence since the start of the holy month of Ramadan on Oct. 5 that has left more than 60 people dead - civilians, government forces and militants. Seven militants were killed overnight Friday to Saturday by security forces in the Sidi Belabas region, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of the capital, the APS news agency reported, citing local officials. A day earlier, in the same region, two other suspected Muslim radicals were killed by combined army and police forces in the town of Ain El Berd, a security official told The Associated Press.
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