Hospital Fire Leaves 8 Infants Dead in Algeria
An overnight fire that swept through a neo-natal hospital in the Algerian city of El Oued, some 400 miles southeast of the capital Algiers, has left at least eight infants dead, according to local fire services. An initial investigation has placed blame on an electrical short circuit. Three of the infants died of burns, while the others perished from smoke inhalation, the APS state news agency said, adding that 11 other infants, 37 women and 25 hospital employees were saved. Algerians have long been critical of state services in the periphery, especially in the field of health, leading to numerous targeted protests over the years. This year has seen wider protests by citizens seeking change among the country’s power elite, where corruption is alleged to be rampant. Presidential elections are set to take place on December 12 after nationwide protests led ailing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign just prior to a vote that had been scheduled for April.