Dozens killed in forest fires in Algeria

Tunis, Aug 18 (EFE).- At least 37 people have died amid wildfires sweeping through eastern Algeria, the country’s civil defense service said on Thursday.

The service added that more than 160 others were injured, several of them critically, in the 128 fires triggered by a heatwave that has brought extreme temperatures of over 47 degrees Celcius to the North African country.

The fatalities included 30 people who died between Wednesday and Thursday in the worst-hit province of El Tarf near the border with Tunisia, prompting Algerian prime minister Aymen Benabderrahmane to visit the area.

Five members of the same family were killed in Souk Ahras province and two others in Setif province, according to the service.

The fires have devoured more than 1,800 hectares of bushland and 800 hectares of forests across the country, the Algerian interior ministry said.

Firefighters and civil defense personnel have been mobilized to extinguish the wildfires in the affected areas, the defense ministry said in a statement.

At least 90 people, 33 of them were soldiers, were killed in wildfires in Algeria last year, the deadliest year in the country’s modern history.EFE


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