Algerian security forces have killed 12 people and uncovered an arms cache in two exchanges with what they claim to be Islamist terrorists in the north of the country.

An Algerian army patrol is reported to have killed eight fighters after an exchange in Boumedes, located 50 kilometres from Algiers. In another exchange, four fighters were killed at Boukadir, 280km away from the capital.

Terrorist activity has been rare in the northern areas around Algiers over the past decade. However, the country is bracing itself for more attacks, blaming the ongoing fighting in Mali involving Islamist forces.