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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 01:57 GMT
Police killed in Algeria ambush
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At least seven policemen have been killed in an ambush by suspected Islamist militants in Algeria, according to security officials.

The policemen were in two all-terrain vehicles in the El Oued region, south of Algiers, when they came under fire on Thursday night.

The gunmen are said to have fled in the police vehicles. A security operation was launched to track them down.

Islamist groups have carried out a series of attacks in recent months.

Tensions date back to the early 1990s when the army cancelled the second round of multiparty elections to prevent the expected victory of an Islamic fundamentalist party.

In the latest incident, the officers, from a border guard unit, are reported to have been enticed from their base to the ambush point at Bir Erroumi by a bogus tip-off about smugglers in the area.

In a separate incident, another officer was killed and one injured in the eastern village of Boukalfa on Thursday. Gunmen are said to have attacked a checkpoint the officers were guarding.

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