Algeria wildfire death toll rises as 25 soldiers killed

Algeria wildfire death toll rises as 25 soldiers killed

The interior ministry said earlier that fires raging east of the capital Algiers had killed at least 7 civilians.

Algeria’s president announced that 25 soldiers were killed while rescuing citizens from wildfires raging across woods and communities east of the capital, adding to the country’s fire death toll this week.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune tweeted late Tuesday that soldiers had rescued 100 people from wildfires in two areas of the Bedouin Kabylie region. According to the Ministry of National Defence, four more soldiers were seriously burned while fighting the fires, and seven others had minor burns.
The interior ministry said earlier that the fires had killed at least seven civilians.

Other fires broke out Monday in the Kabylie region and elsewhere, forcing Algerian authorities to send in the army to assist citizens in fighting the blaze and evacuating.

Several forest fires raged over the Kabylie region, destroying olive trees, cattle, and chickens that provide a living for local communities.
Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud travelled to Kabylie to assess the situation.

“Only criminal hands can be behind the simultaneous outbreak of about 50 fires across several localities of the province,” the minister said on state television, appearing to suggest arson.

“Thirty fires at the same time in the same region can’t be by chance,” Beldjoud said on national television, although no arrests were announced.
Wildfires were also burning in Algeria’s northwestern areas. On Algerian radio, the Civil Protection organization claimed seven people had died, six in Kabylie and an elderly man trying to save his animals in the Setif region to the east.
As of Monday night, there were 41 fires in 18 wilayas, or regions, with 21 of them burning near Tizi Ouzou, the Kabyle capital.

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