AFP PHOTO / FAROUK BATICHE

Algerian authorities arrested 38 people in connection with deadly ethnic unrest between Berbers and Arabs in the south of the country, police and the gendarmerie said Friday.

Police also said a hunting rifle, dozens of knives and Molotov cocktails were seized during a probe into unrest in the southern province of Ghardaia that left 22 people dead on Tuesday.

Police said 27 people had been detained Thursday “for harming public order, citizen’s security and property.”

State television, citing the gendarmerie, said 11 more people were rounded up, bringing the total to 38.

Algerian media reported that masked gunmen went on a killing and arson spree in the town of Guerara Tuesday night and into the early hours of Wednesday.

Guerara is in the M’zab valley, a UNESCO world heritage site on the edge of the Sahara desert, where tensions between Mozabite Berbers and Arabs have flared on and off since December 2013.

But it was the first time firearms were used in confrontations between members of the two communities.

The highest death toll in years has prompted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to order the army to move into Ghardaia and restore order.

 

AFP

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