Algeria accuses Morocco of attacking truck convoys in border area

CAIRO, April 12 (Reuters) – Algeria on Tuesday condemned what it said was an attack by Morocco on a convoy of trucks in the border area between Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara, saying it would put jeopardize the UN’s attempts to ease regional tensions.

The alleged attack took place Sunday morning in the region of Ain Bentli, according to the Algerian press.

“Algeria strongly condemns the targeted assassinations committed using sophisticated weapons of war (…) against civilians,” said a statement issued by the Algerian Foreign Ministry.

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There was no immediate reaction from Mauritania or Morocco.

Morocco considers the sparsely populated Western Sahara as part of its territories. The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, wants to establish its own state there.

Rabat ignored a similar accusation in November, when Algeria said Morocco was targeting Algerian truckers in an area of ​​eastern Western Sahara, where the Polisario said in 2020 it was resuming its “armed struggle”.

However, there is no evidence of serious fights. Morocco said it was committed to the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement but would respond to any attack on Western Sahara territories.

Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been bad for decades and the border between them has been closed since 1994.

Algeria severed ties with Morocco in August last year, accusing its neighbor of working with Israel to undermine its security, starting fires in the Kabylie region and supporting a pro-independence group in the region of Amazigh language.

It then closed its airspace to all Moroccan planes and halted a gas pipeline contract that carries gas to Spain via Morocco.

Morocco called these accusations false and absurd.

Rabat says the best it can offer as a political solution to the Western Sahara conflict is autonomy within its sovereignty.

More recently, Spain and Israel have backed Morocco’s plan, joining the United States, Germany and other countries in the Arab world and Africa. Read more

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Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; additional reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi in Rabat; Editing by Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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