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Morocco summons Algeria ambassador over border shooting

Moroccan Foreign Ministry has summoned the Algerian ambassador to protest a shooting by an Algerian soldier on Moroccan civilians at the border, which left one civilian badly injured.

"The ministry summoned the Algerian ambassador in Rabat to express the kingdom's denouncement and to demand a clarification on the incident," Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salaheddine Mezouar said in a statement lateSaturday.

According to an earlier government statement, an Algerian army soldier fired three times at ten Moroccan civilians at the border near the northeastern city of Oujda, leaving one of the latter badly injured in the face.

"The Government of Morocco strongly protests this direct and unacceptable attack on the lives of Moroccan civilians by the Algerian army," the statement said.

Relations between the two neighbors turned tense in recent months on the back of an attack on the Algerian embassy in the Moroccan city of Casablanca last year.

Tension surfaced between the two countries yet again earlier this year when Morocco accused Algeria of deporting Syrian refugees to their joint borders – allegations denied by Algeria.

The two North African neighbors have tense relations for decades due to differences over Western Sahara region, which Morocco considers an inseparable part of its territory.

Morocco accuses Algeria of backing Western Sahara's Polisario Front, which continues to battle the Moroccan government for the region.

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