Algiers-Algeria’s Chief of Staff Admiral Ahmed Gaid Saleh has urged officers and troops stationed in the country’s biggest military zone to go on high alert to avert a possible retaliation by extremist organizations to the killing of 60 of their members in ambushes carried out by the army in the past months.
Algeria fears that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) would carry out attacks after suffering huge losses in army operations.
Saleh said during a meeting he chaired in Nahiya al-Askariya al-Oula, which lies 50 kilometers south of the capital, that the huge results achieved in the battlefield in the fight against terrorism are due to the extensive efforts exerted by the people and the nation.
The military has been actively deployed on the border with Mali and Libya and has arrested several extremists and arms smugglers, and thwarted attempts to smuggle weapons to the country.
A statement issued by the defense minister on the occasion of Saleh’s visit to the area said that the commander’s trip comes as part of the military leadership’s keenness to be informed about the general security in Nahiya.
It also aims at consolidating the permanent and ongoing cooperation with troops deployed in the area.
Saleh called for troops to be on alert to confront any possible attack by terrorists and to restore full security.
The military chief praised the army for its professionalism and hinted that foreigners were standing behind attempts of terrorists to infiltrate the border and to smuggle weapons.
“Algeria will not be harmed in any way as long as the people are holding onto the values of the great liberation revolution, which has been an example of freedom and dignity,” said Saleh, who is also the country’s deputy defense minister.
The revolt “undermined the phenomenon of mandate and changed the course of history,” he added.