Home » French Citizen Killed After Straying Into Algerian Waters

French Citizen Killed After Straying Into Algerian Waters

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Algerian coast guards shot and killed a French citizen and detained one other after they strayed on water scooters into Algerian waters from Morocco, the place they had been vacationing, the French authorities mentioned on Friday.

Moroccan information retailers have reported that 5 males had been on trip Tuesday in Saidia, a well-liked seaside resort in northeastern Morocco, once they misplaced their bearings and, low on gas, drifted into Algerian waters. A minimum of a few of the 5 had twin French and Moroccan citizenship.

Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been strained for years and their border has been closed since 1994. In 2021, with a dispute over Western Sahara nonetheless simmering and likewise partly in protest at Morocco’s rapprochement with Israel, the Algerian authorities broke off diplomatic relations with its neighbor.

A French Overseas Ministry assertion on Friday didn’t identify the French nationals concerned. However native media in Morocco recognized the lifeless man as Bilal Kissi. His funeral was broadcast by Le 360, a Moroccan information web site.

His brother, Mohammed Kissi, told reporters on Thursday that he and his sibling had gotten misplaced after a day on the water scooters with a cousin and two associates.

“It began getting darkish,” Mr. Kissi mentioned. “We had been working out of gasoline. We stored going, not realizing the place we had been heading.”

Mr. Kissi mentioned the group was approached by a black, inflatable boat from the Algerian coast guard. After talking to the guards, his brother pointed within the route of Morocco, Mr. Kissi mentioned. Then, all of a sudden, he mentioned, “we heard gun photographs.”

His brother and one of many associates had been hit, whereas the coast guard arrested one other buddy, Mr. Kissi mentioned.

“I used to be screaming their names for an hour,” Mr. Kissi mentioned, including that he was later rescued by the Moroccan Royal Navy.

The Algerian authorities had not but publicly commented on the incident.

“That is the duty of the judicial authorities,” Mustapha Baitas, a Moroccan authorities spokesman, mentioned at a information convention on Thursday.

There have been conflicting accounts of the circumstances of the capturing, the variety of victims and their nationalities. Moroccan information reports said on Thursday that two twin French and Moroccan residents had been killed and a 3rd arrested.

However the French ministry assertion mentioned one French citizen was killed and one was detained.

“We’re involved with the Moroccan and Algerian authorities,” the assertion mentioned, including that French prosecutors had been notified. It’s normal observe for French prosecutors to open an inquiry when French residents die overseas.

“It will likely be as much as the courts to shed full gentle on the circumstances of this tragedy,” the ministry mentioned.

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