CAIRO Ñ Algeria continues to uncover insurgency hideouts near the
capital of the North African country.
The hideouts were discovered during a combined task force operation by
special operations forces and attack helicopters near Algiers last week. The
Algerian offensive was said to have been launched against the Salafist
Brigade for Combat and Call.
Algerian security sources said that so far 10 underground lairs have
been discovered in the Boumedras province. They said the hideouts contained
weapons and explosives.
All of the hideouts were destroyed by Algeria's military, the sources
said. They said 10 suspected Salafist insurgents were killed and another 20
were captured in several provinces during the week-long operation.
On Monday, Algerian troops killed five Islamic insurgents in a clash
west of the capital. One soldier was killed during the battle in Belaas in
the province of Einal-Dafla.
In southern Algeria, more than 1,000 army troops, police and border
guards continued a search for 31 Western nationals reported missing in the
Sahara Desert. The nationals include 18 Germans as well as Austrian, Dutch,
Swedish and Swiss citizens. The Westerners moved through Algeria from
Tunisia in six separate groups.
The Algerian search and rescue force includes helicopters and
reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft are said to be equipped with infrared
Germany has also helped Algeria in the search. A force of German
commandos from the GSG9 unit counterterrorist unit has joined the operation.
So far, at least 11 of the tourists have been found.
In an unrelated development, Algeria has resumed its search for advanced
combat systems from the former Soviet Union. Algerian Chief of Staff Gen.
Mohammed Lamari held talks in Minsk last week with Belarus military and