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Moroccans took to the streets Monday to protest the killing of two vacationers by Algerian forces over the weekend, an incident that inflamed tensions between the two North African neighbors, the Associated Press reported.
Algeria’s Defense Ministry admitted this week that its forces fired upon a group of people who crossed into Algerian waters from Morocco on water scooters. They said that coast guards fired warning shots at the three water scooters, forcing one of them to stop while the others fled.
Algerian officials added that they recovered the body of a man with a bullet wound, but did not provide further details.
Meanwhile, Moroccan media reported that Morocco’s security forces recovered another body and that authorities are investigating the matter.
At the same time, France announced that one of the individuals killed was a French citizen.
Diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco are non-existent, and their maritime border has been closed since the 1990s due to ongoing disputes over matters such as the contested territory of Western Sahara.
Even so, deadly confrontations in the sea are unusual.
According to Algerian officials, the coast guard fired warning shots due to concerns about increased drug trafficking and organized crime activity in the area.