Twelve soldiers of the Algerian security forces, including a high-ranking officer and a civilian were shot dead and 13 others injured in a terrorist attack in the east of the north African country, local newspaper Le Quotidien d' Oran reported on Tuesday.
The attack occurred in the forests between the country's eastern provinces of Skikda and Jijel on Sunday evening, when a convoy of security forces, led by a Lieutenant Colonel Rahmouni Mohammed, were ambushed by some 40 heavily armed terrorists.
Three vehicles of the military convoy were thrown by the explosions of remote control bombs concealed in their path, 12 members of the forces, including Rahmouni Mohammed, were killed and about 13 injured in the following rocket attacks launched by the unidentified terrorists.
The attackers, four of whom were also killed in the fire exchange, fled to an unknown destination after striping of the soldiers' guns, the reported said, adding that the wounded were soon transported to a nearby military hospital, where a civilian who got wounded on the scene of the attack failed to survive.
Attacks against security forces are common in the north African country, where the al-Qaida-linked groups are active.
On Aug. 3, a suicide attack on a police station occurred at Tizi Ouzou in the eastern Kabylie region, injuring 25 people. al- Qaida's north African branch claimed its responsibility for the blast.
(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2008)