Two killed, dozens injured in Algeria tribal clashes
Ghardaia Province has been the scene of sectarian violence since last December (AFP/File)
Two people have been killed and a dozen others, including two police officers, have been injured during tribal clashes in Algeria’s northern province of Ghardaia.
The clashes took place in the town of Berriane, some 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the province capital, Ghardaia.
The two victims were killed during exchange of fire between Mozabite people, who are a Berber ethnic group, and the Chaamba community of Arab origin.
The two sides reportedly threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at each other, causing major traffic disruptions on a highway linking the country’s north to the south. In addition, some stores and homes in the area were looted.
Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and arrested a suspect believed to be the killer of the two victims as his shotgun was recovered.
Ghardaia Province has been the scene of sectarian violence since last December, when fighting erupted between Berber and Arab communities. The fighting has killed over a dozen people and injured more than 400 others.
Representatives of the victims in Ghardaia said more than 600 families have lost their homes after the houses were set on fire and vandalized. In addition, 400 other families have been forced out of their homes due to threats.
Thousands of security officers have been deployed around Ghardaia in a bid to restore order. However, members of the Berber community have accused the officers of siding with the Arabs and worsening the situation.