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Source link : https://info-blog.org/africa/algeria/tourists-shot-dead-after-straying-from-morocco-to-algeria-while-jet-skiing/

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Two tourists were shot dead after they strayed across the maritime border between Algeria and Morocco while jetskiing, according to local media reports.

Algeria and Morocco, who are embroiled in a land dispute, closed off their borders in 1994 and do not have positive diplomatic relations.

The French-Moroccan dual nationals, identified as Bilal Kissi and Abdelali Merchouer, were shot dead by the Algerian coastguard on Tuesday while riding jetskis, said reports on Thursday.

They were in a group of four tourists who faced Algeria’s coastguard after taking a wrong turn at the beach resort of Saidia on Morocco’s northeastern tip, a witness said, according to local news website Le360.

One of the group, French-Moroccan national Smail Snabe, was arrested by the Algerian coastguard and taken to a court on Wednesday, the report said, before appearing before a prosecutor.

Moroccan government spokesperson Mustapha Baitas said it was a “matter for the judiciary”. There was no immediate comment from the Algerian side.

A family member said the four got lost, but kept going until they found themselves in Algeria, reported Moroccan website Al Omk.

They could tell they were in Algeria because a “black Algerian dinghy came towards us” and people on board it “fired at us”, said Mohamed Kissi, Bilal’s brother.

“Thank God I wasn’t hit but they killed my brother and my friend. They arrested my other friend,” he told the news website.

He said five bullets hit his brother and his friend, and that his third friend was also hit by a bullet.

He said the group got lost and had run out of fuel. After attempting to swim back to the resort he was picked up by some officials from the Moroccan navy who took him back to the Saidia marina.

Tension between the north African countries has risen over disputed territory in Western Sahara.

It stems largely from territory annexed by Morocco in 1975. Sahrawis, an ethnic group who inhabit Western Sahara and form the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, have sought independence for the region for several decades.

In 2021, Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Morocco, citing hostile actions from its neighbour. The dispute between two important regional players in the Arab world disrupted plans for a summit last year.

Source link : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/algeria-coast-guard-shoots-tourists-morocco-b2403161.html

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Publish date : 2023-09-03 03:00:00

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Author : info-blog

Publish date : 2024-06-15 08:48:46

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