North Africa Fires Spread to Libya and Tunisia

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As unusually hot weather persists over parts of Northern Africa, new forest fires reportedly have broken out in Tunisia and Libya during the past 24 hours, in addition to many that are still burning in Algeria.

The presidents of Algeria and Tunisia are accusing arsonists of setting many of the fires, while Algerian media said 22 alleged arsonists have been caught.

Amateur video showed a forest fire raging out of control near the Libyan city of Bayada in the Jebel Akhdar region, east of the country, overnight. Libya’s 218 TV network reported that fire crews in the region were trying to put out the blaze.

A number of fires also broke out in Tunisia Thursday near the border with Algeria.

Tunisian President Kais Saied, whose country is battling a series of forest fires near its border with Algeria, told Tunisian state TV the country’s security forces are helping to battle the fires, and he insists many of them were set on purpose:

Kais said that some wicked people have cut drinking water in some areas and told residents to go to the president to get their water. They cut water on the people, and this is a crime, he said. Some of the fires are caused by high temperatures during the summer, but there also are fires that have been deliberately set, and these people will get burned themselves.

Photo: Charred trees remain after a forest fire engulfed woodland in the Ait Daoud in the Kabylie region in East of Algiers, Algeria. EPA-EFE/STR

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