Wildfires kill at least 26 in eastern Algeria – WSB-TV Channel 2

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ALGIERS, Algeria — (AP) — Wildfires raging in the forests of eastern Algeria have killed 26 people, according to an “interim report” by the North African country’s interior minister.

Most of the victims were reported in the wilaya, or region, of El Tarf, near the northern Algerian-Tunisian border, where 24 people were found dead, including eight in a public bus caught in flames as it was driving in a mountainous area. Region.

Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud also said on public television late Wednesday that two people had died in the Setif region, about 300 kilometers (185 miles) east of Algiers.

He noted that on Wednesday alone, 39 fires started in 14 regions, including 16 in El Tarf, and that 3,200 hectares (over 12 square miles) of forest and brush have been ravaged by fires since early August.

In a message of condolences, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune expressed his solidarity with the victims. He said the Algerian state will use “all human and material resources” to put an end to the forest fires and that the families of those who died or whose houses were affected “will obtain compensation”.

Last year’s large forest fires killed 104 people, including 33 soldiers. In mid-June, the Algerian authorities leased a firefighting aircraft for three months from Russia.

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