Senior Operatives Are Assassinated
in Renewed Military Campaign
Immediately following a reconciliation with the west resulting in the lifting of an embargo, Algerian President Abdeaziz Bouteflika launched a military campaign to pursue Al -Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) resulting in the assassination of Mourad Louzai, a senior operative who functioned as the primary coordinator for maintaining links between the cells within the extremist organization.
LEAD PHOTO CAPTION:
Algerian armed rebels from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb killed at least 23 policemen in the province of Burg Buaririg. The police convoy was attacked by the rebels on a highway in the province of Burj Buaririj, some 180 km east of the capital at Algiers. The rebels first detonated two self-made explosive devices and then opened fire on the convoy destroying six cars and capturing automatic weapons.
A government road side check point south of Algiers was the scene where Louzai (a.k.a Nouh Abou Koutada) and his bodyguard El Kheiter were ambushed on 7 October by Algerian military soldiers. His death came only a few weeks after another significant attack by security forces in Djeifa where Bilal Abou Adnane, commander of AQIM in the west was hit in a sting operation intended to lure top-level insurgent leaders from their remote base camps.
The elimination of Louzai and Adnane by Algerian forces are significant losses to AQIM, as these leaders were responsible for coordinating the logistics and communications between cells in preparation for attacks. Louai was also known to be very close to Abdelmalek Droukdel (a.k.a. Abou Mossaab Abdelawadoud), leader of the AQIM and its cell commanders.
Al-Qaeda insurgents associated with the terror group AQIM (al Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb) stand guard at their remote hideout in Ouzou, Algeria, a region widely considered to be a stronghold of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
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