Algeria's Defense Ministry says army forces have ambushed and killed a top militant with links to Al-Qaida.

The ministry said Monday army forces relied on local information to ambush a "leading terrorist responsible for many crimes" in a late night operation on Sunday. The militant, from the group Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, was killed in the mountainous Kabylie region, some 50 miles from the capital, Algiers.

Algeria has been fighting the group since the 1990s, though they are now isolated in a few mountainous regions.

Experts say locals in these regions have increasingly cooperated with government efforts to root out the last vestiges of the group.

Local media named the militant as Mahmoudi, also known by his nickname "Le Mancho," and said he has been fighting since the 1990s.