Firefighters, troops and civilian volunteers battled blazes in forests across northern Algeria on Wednesday as the country reeled at a death toll of at least 65 people in the latest wildfires to hit the Mediterranean.
Soldiers deployed to back the overstretched emergency services tackle the rash of more than 50 fires that broke out on Tuesday accounted for 28 of those killed, state television reported.
The authorities say they suspect widespread arson after so many fires erupted in such a short space of time. They have announced several arrests but have yet to elaborate on the identity or suspected motives of those detained.
Images of trapped villagers, terrified livestock and forested hillsides reduced to blackened stumps were shared on social media, many of them accompanied by pleas for help.
AFP journalists saw villagers desperately trying to put out the spreading fires with makeshift brooms in an effort to save their homes.
High winds fuelled the rapid spread of the fires in…
Source: Guardian Newspaper