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Mauritanian Police Arrest Four Suspected Al-Qaida Militants


Police in Mauritania say they have arrested at least four suspected al-Qaida militants, including a fugitive charged with killing four French tourists in the country last year.

Security officials say police detained Sidi Ould Sidna during an operation Wednesday. His escape from police custody earlier this month led to a manhunt and a series of raids to capture him and other al-Qaida militants.

Another of the suspects captured today was Khadim Ould Semane, who is charged with masterminding the February attack on Israel's embassy in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

Security officials say at least two other people also were arrested. It is unclear if the suspects were detained at the same time.

The French victims were killed in late December while they were picnicking on the roadside outside of the town of Aleg. The suspects allegedly demanded money and then shot the tourists to death. A fifth person was wounded.

Al-Qaida's North African branch claimed responsibility for the February gunfire attack on the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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