65 killed in Algeria fires
Algiers, Aug 11 (EFE).- A total of 65 people, including 28 military soldiers, have been killed due to dozens of fires that have been raging in the northern Algerian region of Kabylia, the state-run TV announced on Wednesday.
Twelve soldiers have been hospitalized in “serious condition” after being burnt as they supported the forest guards’ efforts to put out the fires.
A total of 86 fires are still active in 14 of Algeria’s 39 provinces, 30 of which are in Tizi Ouzou, capital of Kabylia, the director-general of forests, Ali Mahmoudi told the state-run APS news agency.
Algeria’s president Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Wednesday declared three days of national mourning starting Thursday and suspended all activities of the central and regional governments except for aid operations.
First indications suggest arson that aimed at causing “the greatest possible damage”, prime minister Aymen Benabderrahmane, said, who promised accountability.
Two people have been arrested over the arson, one of whom has confessed to starting fires, he added.
Over the past few weeks, Algeria has been experiencing a heat wave with temperatures reaching 47 degrees as well as water shortages in many regions. EFE