Report: Algerian military bombs militant bunkers, steps up raids

Published May 14, 2007

ALGIERS, Algeria - The Algerian military surrounded an insurgent stronghold near the capital and pounded the area with bombs, in the latest in a series of raids that have killed more than 20 militants, news reports said Sunday.

Government forces have stepped up sweeps of militant areas ahead of legislative elections next week.

Liberte newspaper said the air force bombed an insurgent stronghold near the region of Tizi-Ouzou, about 70 miles east of the Algiers. About 20 militants, including several leaders, have been holed up the area since Friday, the report said. Several bunkers used by the militants were destroyed in the bombings.

The newspaper did not report any casualties from the bombing raid, though it did say soldiers had killed at least six armed militants around the nearby village of Ait Yahia Moussa since Thursday.

Algeria has been fighting an insurgency since 1992, when the army canceled legislative elections that an Islamic party appeared set to win.