Rabat - No fewer than 18 sub-Saharan people were burnt alive along with 43 injured in a refugee camp fire in Ouargla, a town in central Algeria.
Rabat – No fewer than 18 sub-Saharan people were burnt alive along with 43 injured in a refugee camp fire in Ouargla, a town in central Algeria.
The fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday morning at a ‘reception center’ housing about 650 nationals.
Saida Benhabiles, the president of the Algerian Red Crescent, said the fire was sparked by a short circuit which triggered the explosion of a heater, AFP reports.
According to Algerian authorities, the 43 wounded were transported to the town’s hospital Mohamed Boudiaf.
Algerian authorities say they have opened an investigation into the matter.
The so-called ‘reception center’ is a common “stop-over” town in the migrational route to Europe. The fate of the various African nationals housed there, remains unknown.
Earlier in the year, about 400 Nigerian nationals were due to be sent back to their home country from the camp.
According to Benhabiles, the migrants are free to come and go from the camp. “They are constantly on the move. One day there could be 2,000 (migrants) and the next they are 200,” she told AFP.
“We don’t lock up people as they do elsewhere.”
Photo: REUTERS/Louafi Larbi