Algeria arrests 16 more members of MAK separatist group

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Algeria has arrested 16 more members of a separatist group authorities have declared a terrorist organization, the paramilitary police said on Monday.

The arrests, which included a journalist, took place in the two mostly Berber-speaking Kabylie provinces of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia after investigations over wildfires that killed at least 65 people last month, the paramilitary police, or National Gendarmerie, said in a statement.

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The government has accused MAK, a separatist group in the Kabylie region, east of Algiers, of being behind the devastating forest fires, which hit several provinces, including Tizi Ouzou.

Algeria last week said it had detained 30 people, including seven members of MAK, for involvement in those blazes, in addition to the arrest of 27 members of the separatist group for attacking citizens and private properties in the two eastern towns of Kherrata and Beni Ourtilane.

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