east of the capital vs to the east of the capital

It is a phenomenon which presents a challenge to the authorities not just in Dellys, a town of 30,000 people about 100 km (60 miles) east of the capital, but across Algeria.
Can I replace the phrase “east of the capital” by “to the east of the capital”?
If possible, which one is better?
Thank you.

“east of the capital” and “to the east of the capital” are equally correct.

Well, thanks Dozy!
I am surprised that they are equally correct. And I think it is one of reasons that make English is so hard.