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Interior Minister: “Khenchela fires are masterminded and criminal groups are behind them.”

Minister of Interior, Local Communities and Urban Planning, Kamel Beldjoud, confirmed today, Friday,  from the municipality of Bouhmama (province of Khenchela) that the fires that broke out in the province since last Sunday are “masterminded and criminal groups are behind them.”

When inspecting the command center of Civil Protection in the same municipality, as part of a working visit of inspection with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abdelhamid Hamdani, to the province of Khenchela, to inspect the situation there in light of the fires that hit the region, Mr. Beldjoud explained that “security services have arrested several suspects and justice will handle them.”

The minister added, “There are people who are masterminding to create chaos by burning forests,” noting that “civil protection elements, during their interventions to put out the fires inside the forests, found people carrying petrol buckets and mechanical saws.”

Beldjoud went on to say, “We have recorded so far the burning of 2,500 hectares of forested areas, and according to specialists in the field, this forest cover will be renewed as of next March.”

According to the same minister, “4 fire spots are still burning in Khenchela, and Civil Protection, Forestry Department and People’s National Army units are continuing their efforts to fight these fires until they are totally extinguished.”

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