Algeria detains 30 people over devastating wildfires

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Algeria has detained 30 people, including seven members of a separatist group that the government has declared a terrorist organisation, for involvement in wildfires that killed at least 65 people, the paramilitary police said.

They have been placed in custody after appearing before a court following investigations over the wildfires that erupted last month in several provinces, mainly in the Kabylie region, east of Algiers, the paramilitary police, or National Gendarmerie, said in a statement.

Authorities have blamed the MAK group, which seeks independence for the Berber-speaking Kabylie region, for the devastating forest fires, and accused Morocco of backing it.

Morocco’s support for the group was one of the reasons cited by Algeria to cut diplomatic relations with the Kingdom late last month.

Photo: A forest burns near the village of Ben Douala near Tizi Ouzou, in the mountainous Kabyle region, 100 km east of Algiers, Algeria, 11 August 2021.EPA-EFE/STR