Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Wildfires in Algeria Leave 42 Dead, Including 25 Soldiers - Tasnim News Agency

(Tasnim) – At least 25 soldiers died saving residents from wildfires ravaging mountain forests and villages east of Algeria's capital, the president announced Tuesday night as the civilian toll rose to at least 17.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune tweeted that the soldiers were “martyrs” who saved 100 people from the fires in two areas of Kabyle, the region that is home to the North African nation's Berber population. Eleven other soldiers were burned fighting the fires, four of them seriously, the Defense Ministry said.

Prime Minister Aimene Benabderrahmane later said on state TV that 17 civilians had lost their lives, raising the count of citizens from seven previously and bringing the total death toll to 42. He provided no details.

The mountainous Kabyle region, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Algeria’s capital of Algiers, is dotted with difficult-to-access villages and with temperatures rising has had limited water. Some villagers were fleeing, while others tried to hold back the flames themselves, using buckets, branches and rudimentary tools. The region has no water-dumping planes.

The deaths and injuries Tuesday occurred mainly around Kabyle's capital of Tizi-Ouzou, which is flanked by mountains, and also in Bejaia, which borders the Mediterranean Sea, the president said.

The prime minister told state television that initial reports from security services showed the fires in Kabyle were “highly synchronized,” adding that “leads one to believe these were criminal acts.” Earlier, Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud traveled to Kabyle to assess the situation and also blamed the fires there on arson.

“Thirty fires at the same time in the same region can’t be by chance,” Beldjoud said on national television, although no arrests were announced.

There were no immediate details to explain the high death toll among the military. A photo pictured on the site of the Liberte daily showed a soldier with a shovel dousing sputtering flames with dirt, his automatic weapon slung over his shoulder....


 ***"Le bilan des incendies de forêts est passé à 65 morts [28 militaires et 37 civils], pour la plupart dans la wilaya de Tizi Ouzou", a rapporté la télévision, ajoutant que 12 militaires étaient par ailleurs "hospitalisés dans un état critique". Un deuil national de trois jours a été décrété.



  1. Wildfires tearing through forested areas of northern Algeria have killed at least 65 people.

    The fires as being described as the most destructive in the country's history.

    The government has deployed the army to help fight the fires, which have burnt most fiercely in the mountainous Kabylie region.

    Twenty-eight of the dead are soldiers, with another 12 critically injured with burns...

  2. In Algerien sind bei Waldbränden mindestens 65 Menschen ums Leben gekommen. 37 Zivilisten und 28 Soldaten sind nach offiziellen Angaben gestorben. Insgesamt gibt es in dem nordafrikanischen Land mehr als 100 Waldbrände, die meisten davon sind noch nicht gelöscht. In der Region Tizi Ouzou östlich der Hauptstadt Algier wüten den Angaben nach derzeit noch 30 Großbrände.

    Die Brände sollen absichtlich gelegt worden sein, sagte der algerische Ministerpräsident Ayman Ben Abdel Rahman. Zudem gibt es aber auch eine Hitzewelle mit Temperaturen von weit über 40 Grad. Das Land hat für die Toten und Verletzten eine dreitägige Staatstrauer ausgerufen. Im Nachbarland Tunesien meldete der Wetterdienst Rekordtemperaturen für mehrere Städte. In der Hauptstadt Tunis wurden 49 Grad gemessen.


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