Security forces detain at least 27 people after fighting between Berbers and Arabs in Ghardaia killed 22.
Algerian security forces have arrested dozens of people just two days after 22 people were killed in ethnic clashes between Berbers and Arabs in the country's south.
At least 27 people, according to the country’s prime minister, were arrested over what he said was their involvement in the violence in the Guerara district of the city of Ghardaia.
The arrested included activist Kamal Fakhar al-Din, who has been campaigning for the rights of Berber people. He was in a mosque Ghardaia before security forces stormed it and arrested him and several other people.
Armed groups from the Chaamba reportedly attacked three neighbourhoods of the Mozabite in Guerrara, located 100km away from Ghardia around 4 am on Wednesday.
Attackers kicked inhabitants out of their homes and set houses, shops, public buildings, cars and palm groves on fire, Mohamed Debbouz, a local politician has said.
“According to sources at the hospital, dozens of Mozabites were killed by the firearms. At the end of the morning, Mozabites fought back, killing 4 or 5 five people among Chaambis and injuring dozens of them,” he stated.
19 people who were wounded in the two day clashes between Chaamba and Mozabite in the M’zab valley, according to Algeria’s National News Agency, APS, had died from their injuries, raising the death toll to 22.
This is the highest death toll since the start of the clashes that shook the region in 2013.
The bloody clash has prompted the president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to call an urgent security meeting.