Three armed men, believed to be Islamists, were killed and several others were arrested in Algeria yesterday as the government cracked down further on terror-related activity. The joint operation by the army and security forces took place in the eastern cities of Constantine and Skikda.

A statement from the defence ministry confirmed that “three terrorists were eliminated and three others were captured along with eight people who were supporting criminal groups.” One terrorist surrendered, the ministry added, and weapons, ammunition and money were confiscated during the raid.

Since the start of the year, more than 40 armed Islamists have been killed in counterterrorism operations in Algeria’s mountainous north-east, according to official figures. Although the country has had active Islamist groups operating in the country since the 1990s, the crisis in Libya and transitional period in Tunisia have caused an increase of terror threats. There are fears that fighters linked to Daesh and similar extremist organisations may be travelling to Algeria to regroup and recruit members.