April 14, 2015 / 7:44 PM / in 2 years

Algeria discovers weapons cache near Libya border

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The Algerian army has discovered a weapons cache near its border with Libya, the Algerian defense ministry said on Tuesday.

Last year, Algeria closed its border crossings to Libya and put its military on high alert, fearing an influx of Islamist militants exploiting chaos in neighboring Libya.

The cache was found in a remote southern corner of the country, bordering Libya and Niger. It included two mortars, two rocket launchers, 45 rockets of different types and 225 kg of explosives and landmines, the ministry said in a statement.

Algerian officials worry that militants from al Qaeda and Islamic State are building up a presence in lawless southern Libya to move fighters and weapons across porous borders with Algeria, Chad and Niger.

Algeria, emerging from more than a decade of strife with militants during which 200,000 people died, is a key U.S. partner in the Sahel in its fight against Islamist armed groups. 

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Larry King

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