ALGIERS (Reuters) - Islamist militants in Algeria ambushed and shot dead nine soldiers, newspapers reported on Wednesday.
Seven soldiers were also wounded in the attack by at least 30 militants in Biskra province, some 550 km (342 miles) east of the capital Algiers, the El Khabar, Echorouk and El Watan newspapers said.
One rebel was killed, the newspapers said, quoting local sources. No confirmation of the attack was immediately available and there was no claim of responsibility.
A week ago, five paramilitary police were killed in an ambush in the province of Medea, 100 km east of Algiers.
Al Qaeda's North African wing, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has been behind a series of bomb attacks and ambushes in the North African country, which is emerging from a civil conflict that broke out in the 1990s.
In the past few years, the group's ability to carry out major attacks has been weakened by the death or capture of leading militants and government amnesties.