CAIRO Ñ Algeria has reported that its military has surrounded
abductors of 15 European tourists held hostage since February.
Algerian officials said the tourists were being held in the Sahara
desert near the Libya border. They said the abductors have been located and
placed under siege.
"There are no contacts, no negotiations," Algerian Foreign Minister
Abdelaziz Belkhadem said. "The kidnappers are surrounded."
The Westerners were believed being held by the Salafist Brigade for
Combat and Call. The Salafists has been linked to Al Qaida.
Last month, Algerian forces freed 17 other Western tourists held in a
separate location by the Salafists. All of the Salafist captors, about 10
people, were killed.
Last week, Islamic insurgents killed 22 people in less than one day. The
victims included 10 Algerian police officers in an ambush near the city of
Tizi Ouzou, about 110 kilometres east of Algiers.