Algeria accuses Morocco of killing three on edge of Western Sahara

Algeria accused Morocco on Tuesday of “targeted killings” of three people, after press reports of a deadly attack by Morocco on the edge of the disputed Western Sahara.

Media linked to the Polisario independence movement reported a Moroccan air strike early Sunday against trucks close to the border between the desert territory and Mauritania, killing three people of unknown nationalities.

The alleged killings could not be independently verified, and neither Morocco nor Mauritania have commented.

“Algeria vigorously condemns Morocco’s targeted killings, with sophisticated weaponry, outside of its internationally recognised borders,” Algeria’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said those killed were “innocent civilians from three countries in the region”, without adding details.

The ministry accused its neighbour of “repetitive acts of state terrorism” that could have “serious implications” for regional security.

Algeria last November accused arch-rival Morocco of killing three Algerians on a desert highway in the Western Sahara.

Morocco considers the former Spanish colony an integral part of its own territory, but Algeria backs the Polisario, which has long sought an independence referendum there.

Tensions have escalated there since the Polisario declared a 30-year ceasefire null and void in November 2020.

The following month, the US under the administration of then-president Donald Trump recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory.

Algeria in late August last year broke off diplomatic ties with Morocco over “hostile acts” by its neighbour.

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