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Algerian Coastguards Execute Tragic Misfire on Moroccan Tourists

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Two vacationers from Morocco fell victim to a deadly shooting by Algerian coastguards last Tuesday. The incident reportedly happened when their jet skis accidently crossed the maritime border between Morocco and Algeria. The victims were identified as Bilal Kissi, residing in France, his elder brother, Mohamed, their Moroccan cousin, Abdelali Mechouar and a friend, Smail Snabe, according to Moroccan media.

The group had set off from the famous beach resort of Saidia on jet skis. However, only Bilal's brother, Mohamed, returned from the fateful trip. He reported that he was saved by the Moroccan navy and was returned safely back to the marina.

Mohamed Kissi disputed the allegations by the Algerian coastguards that they were fleeing, insisting that they were trying to communicate. Despite this, shooting persistently ensued, with his brother and friend getting hit by five bullets.

The Moroccan media also report that Smail Snabe, a French-Moroccan, was arrested by the Algerian coastguard and appeared in front of a prosecutor last Wednesday. Additionally, they reported on Friday that Mechouar's body was still in Algeria. In response to this unfortunate incident, the Moroccan prosecutor's office has launched an investigation.

This incident amplifies the existing tension between the North African neighbours over the disputed Western Sahara territory. The territorial borders between them remain closed since 1994 and diplomatic relations severed by Algeria in 2021, leaving the incident steeped in diplomatic indignation.

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