RealNews

Austrians missing in Sahara kidnapped, alive: report

Ten Austrians among 31 European tourists who have gone missing in Algeria’s vast Sahara desert have been kidnapped and are still alive. Quoting Algerian military sources, an Austrian television correspondent said the kidnappers and their demands were not known as yet. The Austrian travellers had apparently been divided into two groups, the correspondent said. They are among 31 European travellers missing without trace deep in the Sahara, an area frequented by smugglers, drug runners and a militant group linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network. Some have not been heard from since February 19. Due to confusion over figures, the number of missing was earlier erroneously reported as 33. Fifteen Germans, four Swiss, a Dutchman and a Swede have also disappeared. The Austrian correspondent gave no indication of the possible fate of these others. Meanwhile German Interior Minister Otto Schily said Sunday on television he was cautiously hopeful all 31 were still alive. Full Story

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