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Algeria battles wildfires that have killed 34

Fire damage in the Algerian town of Toudja
— Toudja (Algeria) (AFP)

Algerian firefighters on Tuesday battled blazes that have killed 34 people across the tinder-dry north, destroyed homes and coastal resorts, and turned vast forest areas into blackened wastelands.

Witnesses described fleeing walls of flames that raged "like a blowtorch". TV footage showed charred cars, burned-out shops and smouldering fields.

Severe fires have raged through the mountain forests of the Kabylia region on the Mediterranean coast, fanned by winds during blistering summer heat that peaked at 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) Monday.

The severe heatwave has been reflected across much of southern Europe and northern Africa.

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