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Algerian warplanes 'repel large-scale barracks attack'

www.elkhabar.com

Some 50 men armed with rocket-propelled grenades launched a co-ordinated assault on an Algerian barracks Wednesday, which was successfully repelled by warplanes and attack helicopters, according to a local report.

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Algeria deployed military aircraft Wednesday to repel an attack by around 50 men armed with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) on a military installation in the north-east of the country, local media said.

According to a report in daily newspaper El-Khabar, at least two of the assailants were killed and six soldiers injured in the attack.

The weapons included RPGs that had come out of Libya, the newspaper said, adding that many of the attackers were Tunisian and Libyan.

The assault began when a lorry delivering food to the barracks was hi-jacked, filled with weapons and used to force a way into the installation, while a second group opened fire in a diversionary attack.

The fire-fight lasted three hours. The Algerian military used warplanes, attack helicopters and artillery to beat off the attack, according to the report.

A search operation was underway Thursday to round up the rest of the attackers, while one who had been taken alive was being interrogated.

Algerian security forces have been on high alert since an al Qaeda-linked group attacked an oil installation in the east of the country in mid-January.

At the climax of a tense hostage situation, Algerian special forces assaulted the site, killing some 29 militants and capturing three, while 37 hostages died, many executed by their captors.

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