The Algerian Coast Guard shot dead two tourists on holiday in Morocco, who had wandered off into Algerian waters on their jet skis. This was reported by the Moroccan media, according to which the victims – Bilal Kissi and Abdelali Merchouer – were part of a group of four citizens with dual French-Moroccan citizenship, who left on a jet ski from the town of Saidia.
A third member of the group, Smail Snabe, was arrested by the Coast Guard patrolling the closed border between the two states. “We got lost but we continued until we found ourselves in Algeria,” Mohamed Kissi, brother of one of the two young men killed, told the Moroccan website Le360. “We knew we were in Algeria because a black Algerian rubber boat came towards us” and those on board “shot at us”, he said.
The episode generated anger in Morocco after a fisherman posted video of a lifeless body floating in the sea. The incident comes amid growing tensions between the two countries, exacerbated by their antagonism over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
The border between the North African nations has been closed since 1994 and Algiers severed diplomatic relations with Rabat in 2021 after accusing its neighbor of “hostile acts”, an accusation Morocco called “completely unjustified”.