News / Africa

Algerian Troops Find Huge Arms Cache on Libya Border

Location

Reuters
Algerian troops discovered a huge arms cache near the border with Libya, including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, rockets and landmines, an Algerian security source said on Thursday.

“It is an arsenal of war,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters, adding that it likely belonged to militants.

Algeria is worried about violence spilling over from neighboring Libya, where a fragile central government is struggling to contain militias and Islamist militants operating in its lawless southern desert.

The source said the cache was found in Illizi in southern Algeria, about 200 km (125 miles) from the Amenas gas plant, which Libyan-based Islamist militants attacked in January, killing nearly 40 foreign contractors.

The weapons included 100 anti-aircraft missiles, more than 500 MANPAD shoulder-launched rockets often used against low flying aircraft like helicopters, and hundreds of rocket launchers, rifles, landmines and rocket-propelled grenades, the source added.

He did not give further details on how or when the arms were recovered.

Two years after its civil war toppled Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is still awash with weapons from the former leader's regime and the militias who fought him.

Tunisia's Prime Minister Ali Larayedh told Reuters last week Islamist militants were taking advantage of Libya's chaos to get training and weapons across its porous border with Tunisia.

The attack on the Amenas gas installation and Libya's chaos have left energy companies wary over security in North Africa. BP and Norway's Statoil are still assessing whether to send foreign workers back to Amenas.

“Algeria is a target for al-Qaida cells who may have been planning a major attack, maybe disrupting air traffic or striking military aircraft or helicopters, which are the best tools to track terrorists in the desert,” said security analyst and Ennahar TV editor Anis Rahmani.

As well as Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, other militant groups in North Africa include Ansar al-Sharia both in Tunisia and Libya, and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa or MUJWA, scattered this year by the French offensive in Mali.

MUJWA recently announced it was joining forces with another group led by veteran Algerian fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who masterminded the attack on the Amenas plant in January.

Seven Tunisian police were killed on Wednesday in gun battles with militants in Tunisia, where the government two months ago began a crackdown on Islamist hardline, Ansar al-Sharia, blamed for killing two opposition leaders.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More