Islamist gunmen kill two soldiers in western Algeria

Islamist gunmen have killed two soldiers in western Algeria less than a week after jihadist-linked militants beheaded a French hostage they abducted east of the capital, press reports said Monday.

AFP| Updated: Sep 29, 2014, 15:02 PM IST

Algiers: Islamist gunmen have killed two soldiers in western Algeria less than a week after jihadist-linked militants beheaded a French hostage they abducted east of the capital, press reports said Monday.

The two soldiers were ambushed on Sunday as they inspected a power plant in the town of Telagh, 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Algeria`s second city Oran, the reports said.

Islamist militants, some of them loyal to Al-Qaeda, remain active in several areas of Algeria more than a decade after the end of the country`s devastating 1992-2002 civil war.

On Wednesday, a jihadist splinter group sparked world outrage by executing French hostage Herve Gourdel in retaliation for French air strikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq in video footage it posted online.

Gourdel was kidnapped while hiking in the Djurdjura National Park, east of Algiers, once a major tourist attraction but a hideout for Islamist militants since the 1990s.

The army says it has killed at least 71 suspected militants in operations so far this year.