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Guinea-Bissau Police Arrest Suspects in Mauritania Murders

Police in Guinea-Bissau say they have arrested two suspects in connection with the killing of four French tourists in Mauritania last month.

Police arrested the men Friday in the capital, Bissau. They identified the two as 28-year-old Mohamed Ould Sidi Chabarnou alias Abou Mouslim or Abou Soulema and 26-year-old Sidi Ould Sidna alias Abou Jendel.

Both men are Mauritanian, and police in Mauritania have requested their extradition.

Authorities believe both suspects belong to the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, an Algerian extremist group linked to al-Qaida. Sidna was arrested in Mauritania in 2006 and charged with terrorist activities in connection with the group.

The French tourists were picnicking outside the Mauritanian town of Aleg on December 24 when a group of gunmen pulled up and demanded money. The family refused and the gunmen opened fire, killing four and wounding a fifth person.

Police are still searching for a third man wanted in connection with the killing, and recently arrested several other people they suspect of helping the gunmen.

Three days after the French tourists were killed, gunmen killed three soldiers in northern Mauritania.

The killings led to the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar Rally car race that was scheduled for this month.

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