Algerian army kills five militants in operations

Algerian troops ambushed and killed five armed militants in an ongoing operation in an eastern region known as a former stronghold for hardline militants, the defense ministry has said.

Five Kalashnikov rifles and a quantity of ammunition were also recovered during the operation by the army on Wednesday in the Bouira province, some 70 km (43 miles) east of the capital, the statement said.

Bouira was inside one of the strongholds for militants during a war  between the government and fighters in the 1990s .

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.

Reuters/Ime N