Algerian colonel killed in clash with Islamists

ALGIERS - An Algerian army colonel has been killed in a gun battle between troops and Islamists in the Bouira region, 125 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of Algiers, local media reported on Friday.
The clash broke out on Wednesday evening during a search operation for a "terrorist group" in the mountainous region, El Watan said, citing security sources, and employing the term officials use for Islamist insurgents.
A member of the communal guard, civilian auxiliaries who were assisting in the operation, was wounded in the violence, which erupted in Ahnif, east of Bouira, where the Islamist group appeared earlier this month.
The slain officer was an army colonel, according to the report, which did not give his name and could not be independently verified.
A senior member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Algerian-based global terror network's north African franchise, was arrested in the same region earlier this week, according to security sources.