| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Algeria arrests 22 people suspected of being behind deadly wildfire ‘disaster’

Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said on Thursday they have arrested 22 people suspected of being behind the devastating wildfires in the country’s history that killed 65 people.

Tebboune called the fires a ‘disaster’ and urged the preservation of national unity.

Dozens of forest fires have hit mountainous areas in northern Algeria since Monday, mainly in Tizi Ouzou, the main province of the Kabylie region east of the capital, Algiers.

“Some fires have been caused by high temperatures but criminal hands were behind most of them,” Tebboune said in a live speech on state television. “We have arrested 22 suspects, including 11 in Tizi Ouzou. Justice will perform its duty.”

Amon the dead there was at least 28 military men as Algeria  deployed the army to help firefighters contain fires that devastated several houses in forested areas.

“It’s a disaster … disaster. But our strength will not collapse,” Tebboune said, praising aid caravans from other provinces to provide affected regions with food, medicine and donations of other material.

  • Reuters