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At least 42 killed in Algeria wildfires

At least 42 people, including 25 soldiers, have died in wildfires ripping through forests and villages east of Algiers, Algeria.

The soldiers were killed while saving 100 residents of two neighborhoods, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said, referring to them as "martyrs." Algeria's defense ministry said 11 other soldiers have been burned while fighting the fires, including four whose injuries are serious.

The fires are sweeping through the mountainous Kabyle region, killing cattle and chickens and destroying olive trees. The villages are not easy to get to and there is a limited supply of water, The Associated Press reports, and some residents are staying behind to try to fight the fires using buckets and branches.

Both Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane and Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud say the fires, which broke out on Monday, may have been set by arsonists. "Thirty fires at the same time in the same region can't be by chance," Beldjoud suggested.