ALGIERS, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Algerian counterterrorism troops have killed 86 armed militants and arrested 22 others in the first eight months of this year, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry said in a statement that 126 individuals were arrested over charges of supporting terrorist groups.
The most recent counterterrorism operation was carried out last week when the troops killed six armed militants in the locality of El Kseur in the province of Bejaia, 250 km east of Algiers.
Located in a region plagued by economic and political instability, Algeria faces ongoing terrorist threats.
On Sept. 25, Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia called on the terrorists to return to their people and their families, adding that if they refuse to surrender, "they will be judged and condemned by the force of the law."
A few militants affiliated to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and recently established IS groups are still taking refuge in the dense woods in the north, and remote desert areas near troubled Libya and Mali.