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Two Moroccan tourists killed by Algerian security forces while jet skiing

The jet skiirs allegedly ignored orders to halt before they were fired upon.

Two Moroccan tourists have been killed by Algerian security forces after ignoring orders to stop, an Algerian spokesperson has said.

“During a security patrol inside our territorial waters, a coastguard unit intercepted on Tuesday at 7:47 pm (18:47 GMT), three jet skis that clandestinely entered our territorial waters,” a defence ministry press release said.

“After issuing an audible warning and ordering them to stop several times, the suspects refused to comply and fled,” they said.

The defence ministry said that after several warning rounds, “shots were fired, forcing one of the jet skis to stop, and the other two fled”.

The ministry said the shootings happened “because of increased activity by drugs-trafficking gangs and organised crime” in the border zone, and because of “the obstinacy of those on the jet skis”.

The families of the deceased in France have said that they will be filing an action against the Algerian authorities for “aggravated murder”.

Reports from Morocco said French-Moroccan tourist Bilal Kissi, 29, and his Moroccan cousin Abdelali Mechouar, 40, were killed.

A third man, Smail Snabe, was wounded and detained in Algeria, according to media reports in Morocco on Friday.

Kissi’s brother Mohamed, who had also been in the group, said they got lost and ran out of fuel after leaving the Moroccan resort of Saidia, near the border with Algeria.

He said he managed to leave the area after the incident and was picked up by the Moroccan navy.

Tuesday’s deadly shooting comes at a time of increased tensions between Algeria and Morocco, exacerbated by antagonism over the disputed Western Sahara territory.

The border between the two North African countries has been closed since 1994, and Algiers severed diplomatic ties in August 2021, accusing Morocco of “hostile acts” — a decision Rabat called “completely unjustified”.

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