News Update


A Moroccan tourist on a jet ski reports being shot at off the coast of Algeria.

An Algerian coastguard opened fire on him and three other tourists who had wandered into Algerian waters, according to a Moroccan guy.

Mohamed Kissi was the lone survivor who returned. His brother and one of his friends were killed, and another is claimed to be in Algerian prison.

“They charged, then began shooting behind us,” Mr Kissi told French television station BFM.

Morocco has launched an investigation, and Algeria has made no statement.

Tensions between the two countries date back to Morocco’s claims to the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Their border was blocked in 1994, and Algiers severed diplomatic ties two years ago. Morocco was accused of unfriendly conduct, which Rabat denied.

On Tuesday, a group of four on two jet skis left the Moroccan resort of Saidia when they were shot.

Mr Kissi recalled how they became disoriented as darkness fell and realized they had crossed into Algerian territory when they saw boats from the Algerian coastguard approaching.

“They charged right into us,” he explained. His brother, Bilal, motioned for them to return.

“They started shooting behind us,” stated Mr Kissi.

After a fisherman posted footage of a lifeless person lying in the sea, the shooting aroused outrage in Morocco. It was Bilal Kissi’s, who lived in France. On Thursday, he was laid to rest.

The second victim has been identified as Abdelali Mechouar. According to the Moroccan news portal Le360, his body is still in Algeria.

Smail Snabe, who also has French nationality, apparently appeared before an Algerian prosecutor on Wednesday, but no specifics were provided.

Algeria and Morocco share a border that is nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) long and has been a source of contention since Algeria’s independence from French colonial authority.

After Islamist militants bombed a hotel in the medieval Moroccan city of Marrakesh in 1994, it was closed for security reasons.


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