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Algeria said Wednesday that security officials thwarted a plot by a separatist terror network to carry out armed attacks in the country, according to the Algerian official channel.

The state-run channel said the plot was planned by external parties, including Israel and a country in North Africa, without disclosing its identity.

In another statement, police said it dismantled a criminal group affiliated with the separatist MAK group in the provinces of Tizi Ouzou, Bouira and Bejaia. MAK is labeled a terror group by Algeria.

The statement said 17 suspects were arrested as they were preparing to carry out armed attacks that would harm the country’s security.

Police noted that based on the preliminary investigations, there was evidence the group was in contact with Israel and that they seized weapons and ammunition that were in possession of the group.

The Kabylie Independence Movement, known as MAK, is a separatist group established in 2002 and based in Paris. It seeks to split the Berber-populated region of Kabylie, eastern Algeria, from Algeria.

On Aug. 18, Algeria accused MAK and the London-based Rachad group — another terror group labeled by Algeria – of being behind fires that engulfed different areas across Algeria in August.

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