Algerian soldiers die fighting forest fires, President says

ALGIERS, Algeria – At least 25 Algerian soldiers have been killed, saving residents from the forest fires that are ravaging mountain for...


ALGIERS, Algeria – At least 25 Algerian soldiers have been killed, saving residents from the forest fires that are ravaging mountain forests and villages east of the capital, the president said on Tuesday evening as the number of civilians killed by fires amounted to at least 17.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune tweeted that soldiers had saved 100 people from the fires in two areas of Kabyle, the region that is home to the North African nation’s Berber population. Eleven other soldiers were burned fighting the fires, four of them seriously, the defense ministry said.

Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane later told state television that 17 civilians were killed, bringing the total death toll to 42. He gave no details.

The Kabyle region, about 60 miles east of algeria the capital, Algiers, is dotted with villages that are difficult to access. Some villagers fled, while others tried to contain the flames themselves, using buckets, branches and rudimentary tools. The region does not have water dump planes.

The prime minister told state television that the first reports from the security services showed the fires in Kabyle were “highly synchronized”, adding that this “suggests that they were criminal acts”. Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud, who visited Kabyle, also blamed the fires on arson.

No details were immediately released to explain the high death toll among the military.

Dozens of fires broke out in Kabyle and elsewhere on Monday, and Algerian authorities sent the military to help citizens fight the fires and evacuate. A 92-year-old woman living in the Kabyle mountain village of Ait Saada said Monday night’s scene looked like “the end of the world”.

“We were scared,” Fatima Aoudia told The Associated Press. “The entire hill has been turned into a giant fire. “

Climatologists say that there is no doubt that climate change due to the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas is the cause of extreme events, such as heat waves, droughts, fires in forest, floods and storms. Worsening drought and heat, both linked to climate change, are causing wildfires in the American West and the northern Siberian region of Russia. Extreme heat is also fueling massive fires in Greece and Turkey.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Algerian soldiers die fighting forest fires, President says
Algerian soldiers die fighting forest fires, President says
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