The death toll from wildfires in Algeria has risen to 65, including 28 soldiers, local media reported.
Algerian state television said most of the deaths were reported in the northern Tizi Ouzou province. According to the broadcaster, 12 hospitalized soldiers are in critical condition.
Meanwhile, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared three days of national mourning starting on Thursday, according to a statement by the Algerian Presidency.
Several Algerian provinces have for days witnessed massive fires that were exacerbated by a severe heatwave and hot and strong southern winds.
France offers support
France has expressed solidarity with Algeria and offered support to help fight the raging fires.
“Our hearts go out to all the victims and their loved ones. France stands ready to lend its support to deal with this situation,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Twitter.
Benoit Payan, the mayor of Marseille city, also offered to dispatch a team of firefighters and equipment to Kabylia, “if Algeria asks for it.”
A large number of Algerian origin French population resides in Marseille in the south of France. The largest share of the French immigrant population amounting to 13% also belongs to Algeria, according to France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.