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Algeria probes killing of man accused of starting fires

38-year-old Djamel Ben Ismail was killed by a mob which accused him of starting fires that have devastated the region of Kabylie   -  
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An Algerian prosecutor has ordered an investigation into the death of a man who was killed by a mob after being accused of setting fires that devastated the region, Algeria's official APS news agency said.

Wildfires in Algeria have killed at least 69 people through the mountainous Berber region.

The killing took place in Larbaa Nath Irathen, in the Tizi Ouzou district, one of the worst hit by the fires.

The victim was identified as 38-year-old Djamel Ben Ismail.

The local prosecutor issued a statement carried by APS on Thursday "following videos on Wednesday on social media showing the killing of a citizen".

He ordered an investigation into the case with the aim of identifying the assailants and sending them to trial "so that the odious crime does not go unpunished".

The statement said a crowd violently attacked the police station where the victim was under protection from officers and managed to remove him.

Amnesty International called on Algerian authorities to immediately investigate the death.

Ben Ismail was buried late Thursday evening in his hometown of Khemis Miliana, 115 kilometers (71 miles) west of Algiers.

"Do you realise, even dead they tortured him?" Mohamed Khalfi, Ben Ismail’s maternal uncle said. "And what hurts me is that the people filmed. I am his uncle and I ask that justice be done, and that even those who watched without doing anything be judged.”

One of Ben Ismail's friends, Rafik, who did not provide his last name, said he was "an artist, a young man who loves the guitar and loves life... not a violent man".

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