Two jet ski tourists vacationing in Morocco are shot dead by the Algerian coastguard after getting lost in their waters.
- The victims are Bilal Kissi and Abdelali Merchouer, both of Franco-Moroccan nationality.
- A third man was arrested by the Algerian coast guard and appeared before the prosecutor on Wednesday, according to reports.
Two tourists on jet skis vacationing in Morocco were shot dead by the Algerian coast guard on Thursday after crossing their maritime border.
Bilal Kissi and Abdelali Merchouer, both of Franco-Moroccan nationality, were fired upon after heading in the wrong direction as they left the seaside resort of Saidia, at the northeastern tip of Morocco, the website said. Le360 news, citing a witness.
A third man, Smail Snabe, also Franco-Moroccan, was arrested by the Algerian coast guard and appeared before the prosecutor on Wednesday, reports Le360.
The group consisted of four men on Tuesday, all of them traveling by jet ski in the Mediterranean, Moroccan media reported on Thursday.
“We got lost but we continued until we found ourselves in Algeria,” said Mohamed Kissi, the brother of the deceased young man, quoted by the Moroccan site Al Omk.
Two jet ski holidaymakers in Morocco were shot dead by the Algerian coastguard as they crossed the maritime border between two Mediterranean countries, Moroccan media reported on Thursday (file photo).
“We knew we were in Algeria because a black Algerian canoe headed towards us” and the people on board “fired on us,” he said.
“Thank God I wasn’t hit, but they killed my brother and my friend. They arrested my other friend,” he added.
“Five bullets hit my brother and my friend. My other friend was hit by a bullet,” Kissi reportedly said.
“We got lost and we had no more fuel,” he said, adding that he had been picked up by the Moroccan navy who had brought him back to the marina in Saidia.
Kissi’s cousin, actor Abdelkarim Kissi, called on Moroccan authorities to take the case to international courts.
“They killed Bilal Kissi, my little cousin,” he wrote on social media. “His only mistake was to cross Algerian territorial waters, he was on vacation with his friends.”
This incident comes amid heightened tensions between Algeria and Morocco, exacerbated by their antagonism over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
The 1,242-mile border between North African countries has been closed since 1994, and Algiers severed ties with Rabat in 2021 after accusing its neighbor of “hostile acts”, a charge Morocco called “totally unjustified”.
Asked about the shooting of the jet skiers on Thursday, Moroccan government spokesman Mustapha Baitas declined to comment, saying only that it was “a matter of the judiciary”.
There was no immediate comment from Algeria.