ALGIERS, October 10-Four gunmen were killed after the Algerian army raided the suspected hideout of the kidnappers of Herve Gourdel, the French tourist beheaded by jihadists last month, the defence ministry said Friday.
The army killed three suspected terrorists in an operation at 0600 local time (0500 GMT) in the area of Bouria, 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Algiers, it said in a statement.
The “ongoing” operation had retrieved two Kalashnikovs and a semi-automatic rifle, the defence ministry added.
In a separate raid in the Tiaret region, 340 kilometres southwest of Algiers, on Thursday “an army detachment killed one terrorist and arrested another”.
The ministry said two Kalashnikovs were seized, as well as ammunition and mobile phones.
The army announced on Thursday that “the camp that served as the hideout for the terrorist group that carried out the execution (of Gourdel) was destroyed” in a “large operation” in the Djurdjura mountains, 150 kilometres southeast of Algiers.
Gourdel was kidnapped on September 21 by Jund al-Khilifa, or “Soldiers of the Caliphate,” an outfit which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The 55-year-old mountain guide was later beheaded.
Close to 80 Islamist militants have been killed since the start of 2014 in Algeria, according to the army.