7 soldiers, 4 extremists killed in clash in Algeria

Four extremists were killed in a violent clash in the Skikda region, some 420km east of the capital city of Algiers, Algeria's defence ministry said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, local police and a military official in Algiers told the Associated Press that seven soldiers were also killed in the skirmish that occurred on Monday in the locality of Bessi during a search and sweep operation.

The police and military sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorised to speak publicly to journalists, said the dead soldiers' bodies were taken to the local morgue and several other wounded soldiers were treated in the Skikda hospital.

The ministry confirmed the "elimination" of four "terrorists" in which the military recovered three machine guns — but did not comment on the soldiers' deaths.

The Skikda region was a former stronghold of armed groups during the 1990s and is known for its mountainous and wooded terrain. It has not seen extremist violence in several years.

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