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MAK suspected of murder of young man for allegedly burning forests in Algeria

The Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylia (MAK), which Algeria designated as a terrorist organization in May 2021, is suspected to be responsible for the murder of a young man allegedly burning forests in the city of Tizi Ouzou.

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The Algerian state television broadcasted what it said were confessions of those involved in the burning of a young man a few days ago in the state of Tizi Ouzou, east of the capital.

One of the detainees stated that he was a member of the Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylia (MAK) and that he regretted what he had done against the young man who was burned to death, and “asked forgiveness from the victim’s family.”

Another also admitted his affiliation with the movement since 2012, as its treasurer, and expressed his remorse for participating in the crime that killed the young man, according to the broadcast.

The MAK is a separatist movement founded in 2002 with its leaders being located in France, and it demands the independence of the provinces inhabited by Berbers in eastern Algeria and announced in 2010 the formation of an interim government for this region. Last May, Algeria classified it as a terrorist organization.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Algerian police said that an organization classified as ‘terrorist’ was behind the killing of a young man in Tizi Ouzou.

In the statement, it was announced that 25 suspects were arrested in the case of the murder of the young man, Jamal Ben Ismail, in the city of Nath Irathan in the state of Tizi Ouzou, after 36 people were previously detained on Sunday in affiliation with the same case.

It was stated that the police recovered the victim’s personal mobile phone, and the investigation “concluded the discovery of a network specialized in criminality, which was behind the heinous scheme, and classified as a terrorist organization, according to the confessions of its arrested members.”

The statement continued: “The investigators discovered amazing facts about the real reasons for killing the young man, which the justice department will disclose later, given the confidentiality of the investigation.”

On Wednesday, activists on social media circulated a video clip showing citizens of the Naith Irathan municipality burning a young man alive, claiming that they caught him while he was setting fire to a forest.

Subsequently, a clip circulated of the young man, giving a statement to a private Algerian channel in the region, expressing his solidarity with those affected by the fires.

The young man in the video said that he came to Tizi Ouzou from the city of Miliana in the Ain Defla governorate.

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