By Hadi Fornaji,
Tripoli, 27 October 2013:
A substantial stash of weapons and ammunition has been discovered by Algerian security forces at near . . .[restrict]the desert town of Illizi, some 300 kilometres from the Libyan border.
The authorities in Algiers are saying little officially about the find. However, the Algerian newspaper Al-Watan has quoted a member of the security forces as saying that it contained over a hundred ground-to-air missiles, as well as anti-helicopter rockets, land mines and rocket-propelled grenades.
The seizure of the weaponry, which is all said to have come from Libya, appears to have involved a considerable number security personnel and an ambush on a convoy. One vehicle reportedly managed to escape. No date for the operation has been given and there are no details of casualties nor prisoners taken.
Illizi is on the N3 highway and around 300 kilometres to the south-west of In Amenas, near where 37 foreign oil workers were murdered in January, after an assault by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Since that attack, there has been a security crackdown in six districts (wilayas), Illizi, Tlemcen, Skikda, Boumerdès, Adrar and Khencela. One official source was quoted by Al-Watan as saying that in the nine months to September, 190 terrorists had been “eliminated”.