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Algeria forest fires: Dozens killed in Kabylie region

At least 25 Algerian soldiers and 17 civilians have been killed in wildfires to the east of the capital Algiers, the country’s prime minister has said.

Aug 10, 2021: More than 40 people have died as wildfires sweep through parts of Algeria. Dozens of fires have hit the Kabyle region 60 miles (100km) east of Algiers with remote villages and limited access to water complicating efforts to contain the blazes. The death toll includes 25 soldiers who were killed as they worked to rescue people in Bejaiea and Tizi Ouzou.

Several more soldiers were injured fighting the fires, in the forested Kabylie region.

Temperatures of up to 46C were forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fires have caused devastation in several Mediterranean countries in recent days, including Turkey, Greece, Lebanon and Cyprus.

Climate change increases the risk of the hot, dry weather that is likely to fuel wildfires.

The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

More than 100 fires have been reported across 17 Algerian provinces, the country’s official news agency APS said on Tuesday evening.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune paid tribute to the soldiers who were killed, tweeting that they had succeeded in rescuing more than 100 people from the mountains of Bejaia and Tizi Ouzou.

Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud said that about 50 of the blazes were “of criminal origin”.

Earlier this week, a major UN scientific report found that human activity was changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways.

The landmark study warned of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade, but scientists say a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast.


Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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