RealNews

Hostage tells of night treks across desert with captors

The Europeans held hostage in the Sahara for two months by a terrorist group linked to al-Qa’ida were taken on forced night marches until their “clothes and shoes were in tatters”, one of the freed hostages has revealed. Gerd Wintersteller, an Austrian, spoke of his ordeal yesterday in the first interview given by the freed travellers. “Our captors were Islamic terrorists. They prayed every day and told us that they wanted to overthrow the Algerian government and turn the country into an Islamic state,” he told the German television channel RTL. He was among 17 Europeans who were flown home on Wednesday after being freed by Algerian commandos in a fierce gun battle. Full Story

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