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Aid Group: Hostages in Mauritania Alive


A Spanish relief agency is reporting that two of its workers kidnapped in Mauritania last year are alive.

Aid Group: Hostages in Mauritania Alive

Aid Group: Hostages in Mauritania Alive

Francesc Osan, the head of Barcelona-based Solidarity Action, told a Spanish radio station Monday that the two men's families have received proof showing the hostages to be in good health.

The men are being held captive by the militant group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which has killed two other European hostages since last year.

The Spanish hostages, Albert Vilalta and Roque Pascual, are believed to be in the custody of a less-extreme faction of the terrorist group.

Vilalta and Pascual were seized last November along with a third colleague on a road that links Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, with the city of Nouadhibou to the north. The third captive was released in March.

Vilalta and Pascual are still being held in an unknown location in the vast Sahara Desert.

Earlier this month, a Mauritanian appeals court upheld a 12-year prison sentence with hard labor for a Malian national for his role in the kidnapping.

Omar Sid'Ahmed Ould Hamma was convicted in July for organizing the kidnapping of the aid workers and for handing over his captives to the al-Qaida group.

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

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