Algeria in tears as wildfire killed not less than 65 people

Not less than 65 people have been killed in wildfires that erupted in Algeria, according to reports. According to reports, the number included 25 soldiers killed trying to save residents.

The fires have been ravaging forests and villages east of the capital, Algiers, in the Kabyle region, covering the mountainous area with thick clouds of smoke.

Soldiers deployed to back the overstretched emergency services tackle the rash of more than 50 fires that broke out on Tuesday accounted for 28 of those killed, Source said.

The authorities say they suspect widespread arson after so many fires erupted in such a short space of time. They have announced several arrests but have yet to elaborate on the identity or suspected motives of those detained.

High winds fuelled the rapid spread of the fires in the tinder-dry conditions created by a heat wave across North Africa and the wider Mediterranean, fire official Youcef Ould Mohamed told the state-run APS news agency.

Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane told state television the blazes appeared to be “highly synchronised”, adding that “leads one to believe these were criminal acts”.

A 92-year-old woman who lives in the Kabyle mountain village of Ait Saada said on Monday night the scene looked like “the end of the world”.

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