Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for an attack that killed nine soldiers in Algeria on Friday, one of the deadliest attacks the country has seen in months.
"A detachment of the army was targeted by a terrorist group. We deplore the death of nine soldiers as martyrs and two injured," the defense ministry said on Sunday, according to Reuters
Some initial reports stated that there were 11 soldiers killed, however that number was later revised to nine. The attack was staged in a forest in Ain Defla, the BBC reported
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, led by veteran commander Abdelmalek Droukdel, claimed responsibility for the attack on a social media account the group frequently uses.
Algeria is often cited as one of North Africa's most stable countries, and is an ally of a U.S.-led campaign to counter Islamist militancy and terrorism in the region.
The splinter group of the Islamic State — also known as ISIS — in Algeria, the Caliphate Soldiers, has been largely dismantled in the country after it beheaded a French tourist late last year.
In recent months the Algerian defense ministry has also cracked down on Al Qaeda affiliates, however Friday's events show that fight is ongoing.
Roughly 200,000 people have died in Algeria since the 1990s, when the country began its longstanding fight against Islamist militants.
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