August 6, 2015 / 2:25 PM / 4 years ago

Algeria discovers 18 ammunition caches, seizes explosives

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The Algerian army discovered 18 ammunition caches on Thursday in an area where al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the killing of nine soldiers last month, the defence ministry said.

The military seized “large” quantities of ammunition and explosives, transmitters, detonation tools and mobile phones in the caches in Ain Defla province, some 150 km (94 miles) west of the capital Algiers, the ministry said in a statement.

The place had also been used to make bombs, it said.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has said it was behind an ambush in July in the area that killed nine soldiers.

Since Algeria’s conflict with armed Islamists in the 1990s, in which more than 200,000 people were killed, Islamist-linked violence has declined in the North African country, a Western ally in the campaign against militants in the region.

But al Qaeda-allied militants and rival Islamists who split to declare loyalty to Islamic State remain active in several areas of the country.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Gareth Jones

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