Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Al-Qaeda claims to have taken Austrian captives to Algeria

Algiers, 11 March(AKI) - Al-Qaeda's North African arm has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of two Austrian tourists in Tunisia and said they had now been taken to neighbouring Algeria, according to pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.

The al-Qaeda militants also vowed to kill the hostages if Algerian security services tried to free them by force.

On Monday, the Arab television network, al-Jazeera received a phone call reportedly from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claiming the kidnapping of Wolfgang Ebner and Andrea Kloiber on 22 February was revenge for the Israeli raids in Gaza in late February and early March.

Ebner and Kloiber arrived to the Tunisian port of La Goulette-Tunis on 10 February from the northern Italian city of Genoa on a tour of the Saharan region.

On Tuesday, more details of the kidnapping emerged.

"A brigade from the mujahadeen managed to infiltrate in Tunisian territory and kidnap two Austrian tourists on 22 February," read a note allegedly sent from the militants.

The militants also provided the passport numbers of the captives and say that they were both in good health.


Pertinent Links:

1) Al-Qaeda claims to have taken Austrian captives to Algeria

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