At least 25 Algerian soldiers were killed saving residents from the wildfires ravaging mountain forests and villages east of the capital, the president announced Tuesday night as the death toll from the blazes crept up to at least 32. Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane told state television that the fires in Kabyle were “highly synchronized,” adding that “leads one to believe these were criminal acts.” Earlier, Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud travelled to Kabyle to assess the situation and also blamed some of the fires on arson. “Thirty fires at the same time in the same region can’t be by chance,” Beldjoud said on national television, although no arrests were announced. There were no immediate details to explain the high death toll among the military. A photo pictured on the Liberte daily showed a soldier with a shovel clearing brush, his automatic weapon slung over his shoulder. Climate scientists say there is little doubt climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving extreme events, such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms. A worsening drought and heat – both linked to climate change – are driving wildfires in the U.S. West and Russia’s northern region of Siberia. Extreme heat is also fueling the massive fires in Greece and Turkey.
SOURCE: AP NEWS