The state news agency reports that Algerian security forces surprised three Islamist militants at a medical clinic east of the capital, killing two.

A security official said police were tipped off that the armed militants were coming to get medical supplies from the clinic in in the center of Tizi Ouzou city, and so waited for them in plain clothes.

Once they entered the Slimana clinic, police opened fire, killing two and wounding the third, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Islamist militants claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda once roamed much of Algeria's north, but now are confined to the mountains of the Kabylie region around Tizi Ouzou.