Wildfires in Algeria leave at least 34 people dead and hundreds injured
Fires raging through forests, mountain villages and towns in northern Algeria have left at least 34 people dead — with 23 of them in the coastal region of Bejaia, according to authorities and a local radio station keeping track of the grim toll in Bejaia.
Among those killed were 10 soldiers encircled by flames during an evacuation, the Defense Ministry reported Monday night.
Bejaia, part of the Berber-speaking Kabyle region east of Algiers, was the hardest-hit area, with 23 deaths since Sunday, the local Soummam Radio reported on Tuesday. Counting the deaths from the wind-driven blazes that swept through villages to the seaside, the radio report said that 197 other people were injured in the flames.
The official APS news agency reported Monday night that 34 people had died across several regions, or “wilayas.” Some 8,000 firefighters and 530 trucks, backed by military fire-fighting aircraft, fought the blazes in scorching heat, according to the latest update.
The Algerian Defense Ministry said on Monday night that 10 soldiers died in the hardest-hit region of Bejaia. It added that 25 people were injured and evacuated to the closest hospitals.
Source: The Independent