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Algiers Battles Fierce Fires

At least 26 people have died and dozens of others have been injured in forest fires that ravaged 14 districts of northern Algeria, the interior minister said on Wednesday. Kamel Beldjoud told state television that 24 people had been killed in fires in El Tarf, near the border with Tunisia, in addition to two others who died earlier in Setif. The civil protection agency in Setif said that two women, “a 58-year-old mother and her 31-year-old daughter”, were killed in the town. In Souk Ahras, farther to the east, people were seen fleeing their homes as fires spread before firefighting helicopters were deployed. An earlier toll said four people in Souk Ahras suffered burns and 41 others had breathing difficulties, the authorities said. Media reports said 350 residents had been evacuated. No updated toll was given on the number of people injured in the fires in other areas.