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Miss Algeria addresses racist attacks

BEAUTY PAGEANT: Miss Algeria, Khadija Ben Hamou, will go on to represent her country at the Miss World competition

THE WINNER of Miss Algeria 2019 has spoken out about the online commenters who sent her racists messages after she won the competition.

Khadija Ben Hamou took home the crown at the beauty pageant on January 5 but after her win she was targeted with racist abuse.

Responding to the comments, Ben Hamou, the second black woman to win the title, told Algerian news outlet TSA: "I will not back down because of the people who criticised me.”

"I am honoured that I have achieved my dream, and I am honoured by the state of Adrar where I come from," she added.

Ben Hamou, who comes from Adrar in the south of Algeria, beat 16 other contestants and made it through 20 rounds to be crowned the winner.

Miss Algerie, the organisers of the pageant, released a statement supporting Ben Hamou and condemning the attacks she had been subjected to.

Writing on Facebook, it said: “Miss Algeria's organisation deplores the racist behaviour and comments of several people.”

After news spread of the abuse that Ben Hamou was being subjected to because of her skin colour, Miss Algeria received several messages of support online.

One reporter for an Arabic TV station said on Twitter: “This beautiful lady is Khadija Ben Hamou. She was just chosen Miss Algeria 2019.

“Sadly some users on Arab twitter are attacking and insulting her because she is a woman of color.

“You are stunning Khadija.”

Ben Hamou will go on to represent Algeria in the Miss World competition later this year.

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