Wildfires, severe heat kills 15 in Algeria.

Wildfires raging across Algeria during a blistering heatwave have killed at least 15 people and forced mass evacuations, the government said on Monday.

As temperatures hit 48 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) in parts of the North African country, it recorded 97 blazes across 16 provinces, fanned by strong winds, said the interior ministry.

The fires injured 26 people and raged through residential areas, it said, adding that most had been put out.

Some 1,500 people were evacuated from the Bejaia, Bouira, and Jijel provinces east of the capital Algiers, according to the ministry.

The three provinces in Algeria’s Mediterranean coastal region have seen the worst of the fires.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Monday expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased, noting both civilian and military victims.

The interior ministry said that 7,500 firefighters and 350 firetrucks were mobilized to fight the flames, aided by aerial fire-fighting support.

Operations were underway to demolish fires in six provinces, it added, calling on citizens to “avoid areas affected by the fires” and to report new blazes on toll-free phone numbers.

“Civil protection services remain mobilized until the fires are completely extinguished,” the ministry said.

In the northeastern province of Tizi Ouzou, 15 fires were extinguished late Sunday, according to civil protection forces.

Edited by Damilola Adeleke

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