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Germany

Missing German Sahara Tourists Found

Five German tourists who went missing in Algeria's Sahara desert have been found safe and well in the southern Djanet region of the north African country, local police said Sunday. The gendarmerie police wing of the defence forces said that the tourists who disappeared on Wednesday had been found on Saturday about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) south of the coastal capital Algiers. The manager of a tourist agency in the oasis town of Tamanrasset

earlier told AFP that a gendarmerie patrol appeared to have intercepted the Germans when they were making their way to neighbouring Niger while avoiding the frontier post of In Guezzam. The Germans were without a guide in a part of Algeria where 32 Europeans were kidnapped by Islamic militants last year. On Saturday, the tourism ministry had denied an earlier state radio report that they had been found. The gendarmerie said it remained unclear why the tourists had parted company with their guide on Wednesday, but they had been found camping in the desert about 300 kilometres from the border with Niger. Algiers newspapers on Sunday ruled out the notion that the Germans had been kidnapped by armed Muslim extremists, who have been waging a low-level war against the secular state since 1992. The press instead speculated that they wanted to be on their own to "loot archeological sites." (AFP)

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