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Algeria says al-Qaida member killed in operation

March 17, 2014

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s state news agency says one of the militants killed last week in the mountainous region east of the capital was a high ranking member of al-Qaida’s North Africa branch.

Tuesday’s report said authorities identified one of the four militants killed in the Kabylie mountain region, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the capital, as Cherif Boualem.

Boualem, 40, joined al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb during the 1990s civil war when some 200,000 people died in a fight between the state and Islamists.

A combination of amnesty and counter-insurgency tactics has largely eliminated al-Qaida in the north of the country.

The terror network, however, remains powerful in the southern desert regions of the country.

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