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Three European aid workers abducted in Algeria

Three European aid workers abducted in Algeria
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A search is underway for three European aid workers abducted from a refugee camp in western Algeria.

Two Spaniards and an Italian were seized by al Qaeda’s North African wing, according to those in charge of the camp near Tindouf.

One of those missing was working with the Basque non-profit group Mundubat, where colleagues are eager for information after this weekend’s kidnappings.

“We don’t have news about a possible liberation. We do have direct and permanent contact with Saharan refugee camps and authorities and the foreign affairs minister,” said the aid group’s Iñaki Markiegi. “Armed men arrived in vans and the three aid workers were kidnapped.”

Amid fears over further abduction attempts, Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez said: “We have to study new measures and advice but I must meet those in charge of these organisations to decide if we should adopt additional measures.”

At least one hostage was reported shot in the attack.

The camp houses refugees from Western Sahara, a territory annexed by Morocco in 1975.

The site is run by the pro-independence Polisario movement which says the kidnappers arrived from and then drove their captives to neighbouring Mali.