Algeria thwarts armed attacks planned by Israeli-backed separatists: report

Algerian security forces have foiled a plot by separatists backed by Israel and a North African country to carry out armed attacks, according to a report.

Ennahar television reported on Wednesday that Algerian forces this week dismantled a criminal group belonging to the MAK, designated by the Algiers government as a “terrorist organization”.

The TV station said 17 suspects had been arrested, adding that documents indicating continued contact with the “Zionist entity” organizations and weapons had been confiscated.

In August, Algeria blamed the MAK and another group for devastating forest fires that broke out in several provinces of the country, including Tizi Ouzou, saying one of them was supported by Morocco and Israel, with which Algiers rejected any normalization of relations. Later that month, Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco due to “hostile actions”. The two neighbors have had strained relations for decades.

The dispute between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front independence movement in the Western Sahara region has been a bone of contention for decades between the two neighbors.

Morocco annexed the vast region of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, in the 1970s and has since been in conflict with the Polisario Front, a movement that seeks to establish an independent state in the territory and end the presence there. from Morocco.

Morocco currently controls 80% of the region, including its phosphate deposits and fishing waters. Last year, US President Donald Trump agreed to recognize Morocco’s “sovereignty” over Western Sahara, abandoning a longstanding US policy in the region.

His decision came after Morocco agreed to join the list of Arab states normalizing relations with Israel. The normalization agreements have been condemned by all Palestinian factions as a betrayal of their cause.

Another area of ​​conflict between the two is Morocco’s support for the self-determination of the MAK, also known as Kabylie, which is seeking autonomous rule for Kabylia in Algeria.

The northeastern region of Kabylia is a stronghold of Algeria’s Amazigh (Berber) minority, who say the government in Algiers is trying to assimilate the minority group into the Arabized Berber and Arab majority.

The objective of the MAK leadership is to establish regional self-determination for the Kabyle people in Algeria, as “the first step towards a Kabylia, Berber state”.

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