RealNews

Elite Algerian Troops Hunt for European Hostages

Elite Algerian troops hunted the Sahara on Thursday for 15 European tourists still missing after 17 adventure holidaymakers were earlier freed in a desert gunbattle with a guerrilla group accused of links to al Qaeda. Military sources and Algerian newspapers said the remaining 10 Germans, four Swiss and one Dutchman were being held in caves in the south by a second cell of the Algerian Islamist militant group, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). Authorities are worried news of the rescue of 17 tourists on Tuesday may have alerted those holding the remaining hostages who vanished more than two months ago while traveling without guides in a scenic region that borders Libya, Mali and Niger. “The whole terrorist operation, which started off well organized, has recently disintegrated, so it’s very possible the second GSPC group is not in contact with anyone anymore,” a diplomatic source said. The rebels demanded money for the hostages, the source said. Full Story

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