ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian troops killed five armed Islamist militants and seized weapons, munitions and food supplies on Thursday in an ongoing operation east of Algiers, the defense ministry said.

The five were killed during an army sweep of the forests of Tazoult in the Batna province, about 430 km (268 miles) from Algiers, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry has said the army had killed 50 armed Islamists in the first half of this year.

Violence has declined in Algeria since the end of its 1990s war with Islamist fighters that killed 200,000 people. But Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and small bands of fighters allied to Islamic State have been active in some remote areas.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; editing by Patrick Markey)