ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian troops have killed at least 14 armed Islamists in the past two days in an operation in an eastern region known as a former stronghold for hardline militants, the Defence Ministry said on Friday.
Troops ambushed and killed five militants on Wednesday and have since killed nine more during the operation by the army in the Bouira province, around 70 km (45 miles) east of the capital, the statement said.
It did not give further details about the militants or which group they belonged to. Bouira was inside one of the strongholds for Islamist militants during a war with between the government and fighters in the 1990s that left 200,000 people dead.
Violence has declined in Algeria since then. But al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and small bands of militants allied to Islamic State have been active in some remote mountains and in the southern desert border regions.
Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Patrick Markey and Alison Williams