Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune (File photo: Xinhua)
Algerian security services said on Wednesday it had foiled armed attacks planned by a separatist group with foreign aid, local media reported.
The DGSN security agency said police this week severed a network linked to the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia (MAK), a group that claims independence for the troubled region of Kabylia and that the Algeria considers it a “terrorist” organization, according to a statement released by local media.
According to the statement, 17 people were arrested in north-eastern Kabylia, accused of having planned “armed acts aimed at harming the security of the country, with the complicity of national parties advocating separatism”.
The suspects admitted to having been “in constant contact via the Internet with foreign parties operating under the guise of associations and civil society organizations” based in Israel and a country in North Africa, according to the statement. He did not identify which North African country was allegedly involved, but Algeria accused its regional rival, Morocco, of supporting the separatist MAK and in August severed ties with the kingdom, accusing it of ‘”hostile actions”.
The move came after Morocco’s envoy to the United Nations in July expressed support for self-determination in Kabylia, a stronghold of the Amazigh (Berber) minority.
Algiers firmly opposes any desire for independence in the region. Long-strained relations between Algeria and Morocco have deteriorated in recent times as conflict in the disputed Western Sahara erupted in 2020 after a long ceasefire.