Jet skiers mistakenly cross maritime border in Morocco, shot by Algerian coastguard

Two males jet snowboarding in Morocco have been shot lifeless by the Algerian coastguard once they strayed throughout the maritime border between two Mediterranean nations, Moroccan media reported on Thursday.

Bilal Kissi and Abdelali Merchouer, each French-Moroccan twin nationals, got here beneath fireplace after taking a incorrect flip off the seashore resort of Saidia on Morocco’s northeast tip, the Le360 information web site mentioned, citing a witness.

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A 3rd man, Smail Snabe, additionally French-Moroccan, was arrested by the Algerian coastguard and appeared earlier than a prosecutor on Wednesday, Le360 reported.

There have been 4 males within the group on Tuesday, all driving jet skis.

“We obtained misplaced however we stored going till we discovered ourselves in Algeria,” Mohamed Kissi, the brother of the younger man who died, was quoted as saying by the Moroccan web site Al Omk.

“We knew we have been in Algeria as a result of a black Algerian dinghy got here in the direction of us,” and people on board “fired at us,” he mentioned.

“Thank God I wasn’t hit, however they killed my brother and my pal. They arrested my different pal,” he added.

“5 bullets hit my brother and my pal. My different pal was hit by a bullet,” Kissi was quoted as saying.

“We obtained misplaced and we have been out of gasoline,” he mentioned, including that he was picked up by the Moroccan navy who took him again to the Saidia marina.

The incident comes in opposition to a backdrop of elevated tensions between Algeria and Morocco exacerbated by their antagonism over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The border between the North African nations has been closed since 1994, and Algiers severed ties with Rabat in 2021 after accusing its neighbor of “hostile acts,” an accusation Morocco referred to as “utterly unjustified.”

When requested in regards to the reported taking pictures of the jet skiers on Thursday, Moroccan authorities spokesman Mustapha Baitas declined to remark, saying solely that it was “a matter for the judiciary.”

There was no speedy remark from the Algerian facet.

Learn extra:

Algeria proposes transition to resolve Niger disaster

Morocco’s navy rescues 60 migrants in Atlantic

Algeria condemns Israel’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara

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