Reuters International

(Reuters) - Algeria said on Wednesday its troops had killed eight Islamist militants and seized weapons during an operation 350 km (220 miles) east of the capital Algiers.

Militant attacks are rare since Algeria emerged from its 1990s war with armed Islamists, but small groups of fighters allied to al Qaeda's North Africa branch are active in remote areas.

The eight militants were killed when troops ambushed them late on Tuesday near the town of Guelta Zarka in the eastern province of Setif, the defence ministry said.

More than 200,000 people died in Algeria's civil war with armed Islamists in the 1990s, which ended with an amnesty deal with several groups of fighters.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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