Algeria accuses Moroccan forces of killing 3, amid tensions

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The Algerian president’s office said Wednesday that three Algerians were killed by a military strike on their trucks, and it accused Moroccan forces in the disputed Western Sahara of being behind the attack.

The trucks were traveling from the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott toward the Algerian city of Ouargla as part of “normal commercial exchanges” when they were targeted, the Algerian president’s office said in a statement.

Citing unspecified evidence, it said Moroccan forces in Western Sahara were responsible. Algerian authorities are investigating what happened.

There was no immediate response from Morocco’s government.

Mauritania’s army issued a statement denying it targeted any Algerian trucks.

Tensions between Algeria and Morocco have been exceptionally high in recent months.

The two countries in North Africa broke diplomatic relations in August over a standoff that largely centers on Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony annexed by Morocco in 1975. Algeria backs the Western Sahara independence movement Polisario.

On Sunday, energy-rich Algeria shut off a gas pipeline that fuels Morocco and Spain, heightening tensions.

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