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Originally published Monday, January 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

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Algeria: 3 militants killed near southern border

Algeria's Defense Ministry announced the killing of three militants and the wounding of two others who were trying to cross its southeastern desert border near Niger and Libya.

The Associated Press

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ALGIERS, Algeria —

Algeria's Defense Ministry announced the killing of three militants and the wounding of two others who were trying to cross its southeastern desert border near Niger and Libya.

The statement Monday did not say what group the militants belonged to, just that they were riding in a four-wheel drive vehicle mounted with a heavy machine. Five AK-47 assault rifles were also said seized.

Algeria's south also borders Mali, where al-Qaida allied groups have set up a mini-state that is now being attacked by French jet planes.

Algeria has beefed up security along the remote desert wastes to prevent militant violence from spilling into its territory.

The statement said the operation showed the army would "guarantee border security against all attacks on national territorial integrity."

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