Would you like to make English your default language on this site?

Terrorism 2013-02-08

Algeria repels terrorist attack on military barracks

By Walid Ramzi in Algiers for Magharebia – 08/02/13

  • 9

Algerian troops killed two terrorists in a battle with 50 heavily armed militants on Wednesday (February 6th) in Khenchela, El Khabar reported.

The jihadists attacked an army barracks roughly 100km from the Tunisian border. Six soldiers were reportedly injured in the three-hour-long skirmish.

The attack began with the kidnapping of two civilians, including a truck driver who supplied the barracks with food. The supply truck was then used in an attempt to infiltrate the military facility.

After a forceful response from the ANP that included artillery and airstrikes, the terrorists fled towards Mount Boudekhane in Tebessa province. The assailants burned the truck and released the truck driver's assistant. The driver remains missing.

According to El Khabar, the armed group included foreign nationals armed with Libyan weapons. The attackers were divided into two teams, with the first planning to storm the barracks with the truck rigged up to blow up. The second team remained in the back to bombard the barracks.

According to security analysts, the recent uptick in terror attacks shows increasing regional co-operation by jihadists.

"These attacks confirm that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) obtained Libyan weapons smuggled across the eastern border," security affairs expert Mohamed Samim said.

"These developments confirm the Algerian government's fears about the danger of weapon proliferation in the region and their falling into the terrorists' hands," he added.

According to Samim, the increasing number of operations "confirms that the terrorist organisations are trying to lift the siege imposed on terrorists on the border with Mali".

The Khenchela attack was the third major attack since the start of the year, following on the heels of the Tiguentourine gas plant attack and the assault on a gas pipeline in Bouira.

Algerian troops recently stepped up military operations against AQIM in several areas, including Skikda, El Tarf, Tebessa, Khenchela, Jijel, El Oued and Kabylie, after security agencies learned that sleeper cells would try to launch high-profile attacks such as the In Amenas siege.

A huge military build-up was seen in these areas to carry out large-scale combing operations, and security at checkpoints on the eastern border was beefed up to prevent the infiltration of jihadists via the border provinces.

Meanwhile, officials were keen to reassure the public about the security measures taken to deal with terrorist threats.

Mansouri Belal, head of the provincial people's council in Illizi province, told journalists visiting the gas plant in In Amenas that security enforcements were made to prevent a similar attack on oil facilities or official headquarters in the south. He noted that there was co-ordination with the local population to secure the area and provide the army with information.

In his turn, Kamal Hadef, a journalist specialising in security affairs, said that the recent developments on the border with Mali "force Algeria to beef up its security measures to prevent the infiltration of terrorists".

"It is likely that a number of organisation leaders will try to escape from the war theatre and to wait for the right time to return anew to northern Mali," he added.

"This means that the only solution for them is to try to sneak into Algeria; a fact that the Algerian army forces have to take into consideration so as not to leave them any secure outlet," he said.

What do you think of this article?


Subscribe to our newsletter and get Magharebia's latest articles delivered to your inbox.


Anonymous thumb

You are not signed in. Anonymous comments are subject to moderation. Sign up to have your comment posted immediately - Learn more

Or post your comment using:


  1. Anonymous thumb

    غيورة على بلادها 2013-8-12

    Salam alikum. We all know that Algeria has countless enemies. Everyone wants it for themselves. But Algeria Blanche, Algeria of dignity and pride will eternally and forever belong to its great men and free women. Remember this o history!


  2. Anonymous thumb

    derdour 2013-2-16

    Dear compatriots– You should not blame Islam for all these bearded people.


  3. Anonymous thumb

    sammari 2013-2-16

    Hello– As a follow up to the comment at the top of the page concerning certain journalists’ sensationalist articles, here’s example of dismantling of a drug trafficking network, where there were 500 grams of hashish. This, apparently, is a network. You see sort of what I mean to say. This is an example where you can read anything and everything. I would like to point out that I am Algerian and I think that certain journalists recognise this in themselves. It’s true that if we hang out only with mediocre people, we remain mediocre.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    sydratoul mountaha 2013-2-12

    Let’s stop confusing them with Islam and Muslims. We all know that these are just groups of losers who don’t know how to do anything and who have sold their souls and conscience for pennies to regimes incapable of generating wealth without having to rely on colonising, pillaging and sowing disaster and ruin. These vampire regimes cannot live without drinking and spilling human blood. The only thing human that remains of them is their appearance.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    عمار السطايفي 2013-2-10

    The National Popular Army and the National Gendarmerie are standing tall. They won't give up or capitulate. They are the grandsons of the November 1, 1954 heroes. Let the bloody terrorists go to hell! As for the remaining ones, they should be thrown to the dustbin of history.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    عبدالله 2013-2-10

    Random accusations reflect the failure of the Algerian security with all its components that should be at its service in a state which has a reserve of 200 billion dollars. It is the shortest way to disclaim responsibility and cover Libya. When was Libya a manufacturer of arms so that it can be said that terrorists’ weapons are Libyan? During ten years of civil war in Algeria, were fighters against Algerian dictator authorities fighting authorities with swords? Is there a difference between the arms of Libya and Algeria if the source of arms in both countries is Russia? Libya can’t be in any time a source of danger to its brothers. This is straightforward and no one can speculate about it. The Libyan people has eliminated with the blood of their children the one who was supporting terrorism and undermining security in countries which had an opposite opinion. He is over for good. The Libyan people is Muslim. They can’t kill or contribute to killing the innocent not out of fear of a regime or political scores but out of fear of God. The Islam Umma can’t be unanimous about injustice after it was victorious to the truth. God is the greatest, praise be to God!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    محمد 2013-2-9

    The Algerian people disavow all these people who hide behind the so-called Jihad to raise the word of religion. Our tolerant religion condemns all forms of violence and killing. (province of Oran)


  8. Anonymous thumb

    daly 2013-2-8

    We are all Muslims, so we must co-exist with love, respect and tolerance for others according to our fundamental principals. But, I only see hatred everywhere. Here in Tunisia, not a day goes by without seeing incivility and foul language, and in all of this, we completely forget about the environment. And then I hear talk of Islam! The poor Prophet (PBUH), we no longer respect his principles or his memory.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    Yacine 2013-2-8

    Beware of the false information that many Algerian newspapers create out of sensationalism. This is due to the fact that journalists in Algeria didn’t go through and don’t go through true journalist’s training. In Algeria, there is only one journalism institute. The training is done through the old school of the war for liberation, the Cold War and so on, which trained the political commissars and propagandists, but they are not at all journalists in the noble sense of the term. The current “editorial chiefs” and other “publication directors” are all educated in this school without exception and they are the ones who are currently manipulating information in Algeria. In this country, in order to understand an event, you have to buy six newspapers in two languages or refer to the foreign press to seize the sense of things. That’s the benefit of the Internet. To get back on topic. No barracks was attacked in Khenchela or anywhere else. A delivery truck belonging to the army was attacked by ten terrorists and a supplier was kidnapped by these same people, who lost one or two of their followers. There you have it: the facts that the poor Algerian journalists are professionally transforming into a veritable “Battle of Dunkirk”. In conclusion, the Algerian journalists do not research their information in order to inform the citizens. They try to get informed by the officials and re-transmit their information. Where is the professionalism?