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Germany

German Sahara Tourists Still Missing

Five German tourists have gone missing for several days in a Sahara desert region in Algeria where 32 Europeans were kidnapped by Islamic militants last year. The Algerian government on Saturday denied earlier reports that the gropu had been found. The five have not been heard from since Wednesday when they "gave their guide the slip" in the Djanet region, 1,700 kilometers (1,000 miles) southeast of the capital, Algiers. Tourism Minister Mohamed Seghir Kara had allegedly said that the group had been found in Tadrart, some 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of Djanet, "without their guide." The daily El Khabar said Saturday that the tourists had disappeared after parting company with their guide in "mysterious circumstances" in Djanet where they were visiting historic sites and oases, and the foreign ministry in Berlin had said they were looking into the report. Journalists have compared their disappearance with the abduction in 2003 of 32 European tourists by the extremist Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). The tourists were finally released in two groups after several months, during which one woman tourist died of sunstroke in the desert. (AFP)

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