ALGIERS, Algeria

Algeria received on Friday the remains of 24 of its independence fighters killed during the Algerian popular resistance against French colonialism. 

The skulls, which were brought by plane from France, were welcomed by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Algerian state TV broadcast live the military ceremony.

French colonial rule faced fierce resistance in Algeria, which was then met with a brutal crackdown by colonial forces.

In the 19th century, France shipped off the skulls of 37 resistance fighters to be stored at the Museum of Mankind in Paris.

There are 18,000 skulls brought from across the world in the museum.

Algeria has been demanding to return the skulls since 2011 for their burial — a demand rejected by Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron had announced that French officials were ready to enact a law that would allow them to hand over the remains, though the process was delayed for years.

Tebboune pledged after he came to power on Dec. 19 last year to restore the fighters’ remains and bury them in Algeria.

France occupied Algeria for 132 years starting July 5, 1830 until July 5, 1962, when the country declared its independence from colonial rule.

During the course of the struggle for independence, over 1.5 million Algerians were martyred, while hundreds of thousands more were injured, went missing or were forced from their homes.

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