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Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 10:44 UK

Algerian soldiers 'die in ambush'

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Islamist militants have killed at least 15 Algerian soldiers and injured 20 in an ambush, reports say.

The attack happened outside Tipaza, about 100km (60 miles) from the capital, Algiers, but there was no official confirmation of the incident.

The death toll could rise as many of the injured were seriously wounded. Reports suggested five militants died.

Local media reported that the military convoy was hit by bombs and then a 20-minute gun battle was fought.

The attack happened on Wednesday morning, local newspapers reported.

Algeria's militants, many veterans of the 1990s civil war, operate under the name al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The ambush comes a month after one of the worst single attacks by Islamist militants this year.

Twenty-four Algerian paramilitary policemen were killed in an ambush on 18 June near the settlement of Mansoura, east of the capital, reports at the time said.

Other attacks this year include the killing of five paramilitary policemen late in May and a week later nine soldiers were shot dead.



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