Algeria nabs 20 people linked to militants
Algerian security forces have arrested some 20 people who are said to support militants along the country’s border with Tunisia.
The arrests were made on Monday near the town of Tlydjen, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the city of Tebessa.
According to reports, those arrested were aged from 25 to 80.
This came after two militants were killed in the region last week.
Last month, an Algerian security source said President Abdelaziz Bouteflika officially ordered the army to launch military operations against militants operating near the border with Tunisia.
The army should finish the operations by the beginning of next year, the source said.
Also in September, 12,000 Algerian soldiers were deployed to several provinces, including Tebessa, Souk Ahras and El Oued, where Algerian authorities set up some 60 checkpoints and outposts.
On August 29, Tunisia’s Defense Minister Rachid Sabbagh said his country would set up buffer zones along the border with Algeria to fight “terrorism” in the North African country.
He did not specify where the zones would be set up, but stressed that people travelling to those areas will be required to hold special permits from the government.
In early August, the Tunisian army carried out military operations against the militants in Mount Chaambi near the Algerian border, where eight Tunisian soldiers had been killed by suspected members of the Ansar al-Sharia group in late July.
Tunisia, the birthplace of pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East, is struggling with a democratic changeover after the overthrow of its Western-backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.