Algeria: insurgent ambush kills 24 police

Gunmen ambushed and killed 24 Algerian paramilitary police in the country’s deadliest insurgent attack in nearly a year, the local newspaper Echorouk reported June 18. The militants attacked the previous evening with roadside bombs and rifles when the police passed in a convoy along a highway about 180 kilometers east of the capital. When they left the scene of the attack they took with them six police off-road vehicles as well as weapons and police uniforms.

A death toll of 24 would be the biggest from a single attack since Aug. 19 last year, when 48 people were killed in a bomb attack on a police training school 55 kilometers east of Algiers.

Insurgents presumably linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) also killed five paramilitary gendarmes late in May, and a week later shot dead nine soldiers. At the start of this month, AQIM killed a British man, Edwin Dyer, after holding him hostage in neighboring Mali. (Reuters, June 18)

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