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Abducted Tourist Car Blows Up In Algeria

A booby-trapped car thought to belong to one of 15 European tourists held by rebels in southern Algeria blew up and wounded at least two Algerians who approached it, a newspaper said on Wednesday. A tourist guide had spotted the car last week in the Oued Semmane area in Illizi province where 10 Germans, four Swiss and one Dutchman are believed to be held by the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) rebel faction, El Watan said. The newspaper said the guide and his driver returned on Sunday to tow the car away to the town of Illizi, but it exploded as they walked towards it, injuring them. The blast also hurt members of a government security team who escorted the guide to pick up the car, El Watan said, adding that the car was believed to belong to one of the Swiss hostages. There has been no word on the fate of the 15 tourists, who have been held for about four months, since Algerian commandos freed unharmed another group of 17 holidaymakers on May 13 after storming another GSPC hideout. Full Story

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