Wildfires east of the Algerian capital have killed at least 25 Algerian soldiers and 17 civilians, BBC News reports citing the country's prime minister.
"It is with great sadness and sadness that I received the news of the martyrdom of 25 soldiers of the People's National Army, who successfully rescued more than a hundred citizens from the burning flames …", Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebun tweeted.
According to the Ministry of Defense, 11 more soldiers were burned while extinguishing the fires, four of them were serious. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ayman bin Abdurrahman said on state television that 17 civilians had been killed. Thus, the total death toll has reached 42 people. The prime minister noted that the fires in Kabylia province were "very synchronized", which "suggests that these were criminal acts." He added that the government is in "preliminary negotiations" with foreign partners to organize assistance to extinguish the fires.
Earlier, Interior Minister Kamel Beljud said that the fires are likely the result of human activity. Fires were recorded in 14 districts of the country, 10 of which are in the Tizi-Ouzu region.
Algeria suffers from high temperatures, drought and water shortages. In addition to Algeria, a grave situation with wildfires is now also emerging in Turkey, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and North Macedonia. According to scientists, climate change entails the spread of abnormal heat, which contributes to the emergence of forest fires.