Algerian state television featured President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s address to the nation on forest fires. The Algerian President used the expression “criminal hands” regarding the fires that broke out in 17 provinces in the country and caused the death of 69 people.
Stating that 11 suspects were detained in Tizi Ouzou, four suspects in Annaba, and two suspects in Jijel, Tebboune did not provide information about the provinces where the other 5 suspects were detained.
Emphasizing national unity in his speech, Tebboune said, “We will stand against those who damage national unity, those who try to distinguish between the army and the people, and the army and the state.”
Tebboune also noted that to contribute to firefighting efforts, two firefighting planes will arrive from Spain today and one from Switzerland three days later.
In the statement made by the Prime Ministry of Algeria, it was announced that an aircraft lease agreement was signed with the European Union in order to extinguish the aforementioned fires.
It is stated that firefighters have a very difficult time extinguishing the fires in mountainous areas where transportation is very difficult, and the Algerian army also participates in extinguishing the fires through the involvement of teams.
Until now, 69 people, 28 of them soldiers and 41 of them civilians, have lost their lives in more than 100 forest fires in 17 provinces so far.
The Algerian President had declared three days of national mourning, starting on Thursday, in tribute to the “citizens and civilians” who lost their lives in the fires.