Algerian soldiers kill 2 Islamist militants: Ministry

 Algerian soldiers have killed two Islamist gunmen in an operation east of the capital, the defence ministry announced on Sunday.

Algiers: Algerian soldiers have killed two Islamist gunmen in an operation east of the capital, the defence ministry announced on Sunday.

It said in a statement that the men were killed on Saturday by the army some 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of Algiers near Skikda. 

"During an operation in the Ain Laksar area, army units shot dead two terrorists," the statement said.

It added that weapons including a Kalashnikov assault rifle and an RPK machinegun were recovered, as were three magazines and a quantity of ammunition.

Islamist-linked violence rocked the country in the 1990s but has since waned, although armed groups remain active in central and eastern Algeria.

The army says that more than 60 Islamists in the North African nation have been killed this year, and that upwards of 100 were killed in 2014.