The Algerian army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Said Chengriha said yesterday that the forest fires that erupted north of the country are part of a plot against Algeria.
"The fires that recently erupted in several regions of the country are but a small sample of this comprehensive and integrated conspiracy, which we have always warned of," Chengriha said, stressing the military establishment's determination to "thwart the comprehensive and integrated multi-pillar conspiracy" targeting his country.
He called on the army's soldiers to "exercise more vigilance and caution to thwart all despicable schemes being hatched" against Algeria
"We are determined to thwart this plot, whatever efforts and sacrifices it requires, supported by our proud people," he added.
Last week the Algerian president's office said police had arrested 22 people for starting the blazes, adding that the ultimate responsibility lay with the Rachad movement and MAK, an autonomy movement for the mostly Amazigh-speaking Kabylie region.
Algeria designated both groups as terrorist organisations this year. The presidency said that MAK "gets support and help from foreign parties, particularly Morocco and the Zionist entity", in reference to Israel.