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Algerian security forces on Wednesday said they foiled a plot to carry out an armed attack by separatists aided by "the Zionist entity" and a North African country, Reuters reported, citing the country’s Ennahar TV.

17 members of a separatist group that authorities have declared a terrorist organization called "MAK" were arrested and documents indicating continuous contact with the "the Zionist entity" organizations and weapons were seized, Ennahar TV added.

In August, Algeria blamed MAK and another group designated as a terrorist organization of being behind devastating wildfires that hit the country, and claimed that one of it was backed by Morocco and Israel.

Algeria subsequently announced it is severing its diplomatic relations with Morocco over "hostile actions" on the part of Morocco.

Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister Ramtane Lamamra announced the move at a press conference in which he read a statement on behalf of the Algerian President. Lamamra also criticized Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who during his visit to Morocco made statements against Algeria.

Algeria, like many Muslim states, also does not have relations with Israel. In April of 2018, an Algerian court sentenced eight people to 10 years in prison over espionage for Israel.

Last December, the head of Algeria's largest Islamist party labeled Morocco's Prime Minister Saad Eddine El-Othmani a "traitor" over his country’s decision to normalize ties with Israel.

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