Minurso: The UN investigates the bombing of three Algerian truckers while Morocco is silent | International

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Algerian Army lookout post seen from the Moroccan city of Oujda, in the northeast of the country.FADEL SENNA (AFP)

Members of the Minurso [Misión de Naciones Unidas para el Referéndum del Sáhara Occidental] They have inspected on the ground in the last hours the two trucks bombed on November 1 in Western Sahara, in which three Algerian civilian truck drivers died, according to sources from the Polisario Front to this newspaper. The Algerian authorities, which took three days to ratify “the murder” of the three civilians, have not offered further details on the matter. The Moroccan authorities continue without making an official statement, contrary to what the Mauritanian Army did, which hastened to deny by means of a statement any type of bombardment on its territory.

Meanwhile, in Algeria, public television shows the families of the three dead truckers. Some appealed to resignation and others demanded justice. The local press, in the absence of official sources, provided more information on the deaths.

The digital medium Mena Defense, which brought forward the bombing of the three truckers on Tuesday, specified this Thursday that the attack took place between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on November 1. He also added the names of the victims: Hmida Boumediène, from the city of Laguat; Ahmed Belkhir Chtam and Brahim Larbaoui, both from Ouargla Municipality. The aforementioned media indicates that the three civilians were traveling in two trucks that had brought white cement to Mauritania: “The two vehicles returned empty and were not covered with awnings.”

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Mena Defense points out that the bombing took place at a distance greater than 30 kilometers from the wall built by Morocco in the Sahara and seven kilometers west of the Saharawi municipality of Bir Lahlu, an area that the Polisario Front calls “liberated territories.”

At first, the Algerian website pointed to the Moroccan artillery as the cause of the bombing. But, after consulting weapons experts, Mena Defense points out that the attack was probably carried out by a drone, either with the Turkish model Bayraktar TB-2 or the Israeli Hermes 450, equipped with two Hellfire missiles. And he stresses that the aircraft took off from the Moroccan air base of Smara, located 230 kilometers from the place of the bombing. The Algerian presidency, in its statement on Wednesday, limited itself to pointing out a “sophisticated apparatus.”

For its part, the official Algerian newspaper The Mujahideen described the “crime” as “State terrorism.” And he mentioned two events that have worsened the relationship between the two neighboring countries: on the one hand, the revelation in July that Morocco had a list of 6,000 Algerian telephones that could have been spied on through the Israeli computer program NSO. And on the other, the dissemination of a letter released on July 14 by the Moroccan ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, in which he addressed the Algerian Foreign Minister, Ramtane Lamamra.

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The Moroccan dignitary pointed out to Lammara: “The Algerian minister, who is such a fervent defender of the right to self-determination, denies that same universal right to the people of Kabylia, one of the oldest peoples in Africa, suffering under the longest foreign occupation. ”.

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The newspaper El Moujahid He recalled this Thursday that with that letter Morocco crossed a red line. And his editorial concluded: “This succession of hostile acts, which have reached their climax with the deadly attack on Algerian citizens, will not go unanswered. Algeria has warned: “the crime will not go unpunished.”

From the Moroccan side, official silence has reigned. Only an anonymous source “aware” of the tensions between the two countries, told Agence France Presse on Wednesday that Rabat “will never be dragged into a spiral of violence and regional destabilization.” The same source indicated that the area where the bombing allegedly took place is “used exclusively by military vehicles of the armed militias,” in reference to the Polisario Front.

The Moroccan authorities have so far not officially recognized any victim of their own after the breaking of the ceasefire in November 2020. And they have not assumed responsibility for the bombing in which three civilians died.

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