Algeria: The death toll rose to 42 among which 25 soldiers were killed after wildfires swept Algeria, ravaging mountain forests. The civilian death toll rose to 17 as the evacuation process continues in the region.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune tweeted that the soldiers saved more than 100 people from the fire in two areas of Kabyle. But, while extricating the civilians, eleven soldiers were burned fighting the fires, four of them seriously, the Defense Ministry said.
The prime minister said that initial reports from security services showed the fires in Kabyle were “highly synchronized,” adding that “leads one to believe these were criminal acts.” Earlier, Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud, traveled to Kabyle to assess the situation and also blamed the fires there on 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.
Dozens of blazes sprang up Monday in Kabyle and elsewhere, and Algerian authorities sent in the army to help citizens battle the blaze and evacuate.