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French-Moroccan Holidaymakers Killed by Algerian

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Two French-Moroccan holidaymakers, named as Bilal Kissi and Abdelali Mechouer, were tragically killed in Algerian waters due to shots fired by the Algerian coastguards, Moroccan media reports. The victims had evidently lost their direction on jet skis near the Moroccan coastal town of Saïdia. A popular summer resort known for its beach and water sports activities, this incident on Tuesday evening has cast a pall over the area.

Another French-Moroccan, Smaïl Snabé, was also arrested by the coastguards and brought before an Algerian prosecutor on Wednesday. However, the Algerian government has yet to confirm these events. The tragedies could potentially fuel the already intense regional antagonism between Morocco and Algeria, underscored by their ongoing dispute over the Western Sahara territory.

It's noteworthy that, despite the incident, neither Rabat nor Algeria has issued an immediate public response. With the borders between the two countries having been closed since 1994, and Algeria severing diplomatic ties with Morocco just this August, the situation is anticipated to only exacerbate the existing tensions.

Survivor Mohamed Kissi, the deceased Bilal Kissi's elder brother, narrated the harrowing incident in an interview with Moroccan website Al Omk. He was rescued by the Moroccan navy and escaped the perils of the unfortunate event. Their navigation error coupled with the eventual depletion of petrol led to the fatal incident. Moroccan government spokesman, Mustapha Baïtas, refrained from commenting and deemed it a judicial matter.

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