Algeria fought a 10-year civil war against Islamic insurgents in the 1990s after the army canceled a parliamentary election an Islamic party had been poised to win. Bouteflika has been credited with bringing peace to this North African nation.
The Kabylie mountains are populated by Berbers, North Africa's original inhabitants, who have long been disaffected from the central government. The region near Saturday's attack had the lowest participation rate in the presidential election in the entire country.
The Defense Ministry, in a tally issued Sunday, said 37 extremists had been killed in the first three months of 2014 — 22 of them in March and the majority in Kabylie. Scores of weapons, including some land-to-air missiles were recovered and dozens of hideouts and bomb factories destroyed, the ministry said.
Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report.