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-   -   Western tourists attacked in Mauritania (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/sahara-travel-forum/western-tourists-attacked-in-mauritania-46792)

mlock 29 Nov 2009 23:13

Western tourists attacked in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Nov. 29, 2009 (Reuters) — Unknown assailants attacked a group of Western tourists in Mauritania Sunday, according to diplomatic sources in the capital Nouakchott

One of the sources said the group was thought to be Spanish but no confirmation of their nationality or the nature of the attack was immediately available.
(Reporting by Laurent Prieur; editing by Mark John)

I just read it and i am planning trip to pass from Morroco to Gambia....Now i really worry much more!!!!!!!!!

Anyone knows more info?


boniyam 29 Nov 2009 23:20

hmm, now i'm worried too.
Just ignore it?

mlock 29 Nov 2009 23:25


Originally Posted by boniyam (Post 265954)
hmm, now i'm worried too.
Just ignore it?

i don think it will help... they had guns and stopped them while driving....

priffe 29 Nov 2009 23:31

Four Spaniards feared kidnapped in Mauritania | Markets | Hot Stocks | Reuters

MADRID, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Four members of a Spanish humanitarian group are missing in Mauritania and may have been kidnapped, Spanish state news agency EFE said on Sunday.

Three men and a woman working for Catalan-based NGO Barcelona-Accio were believed to have been seized at gunpoint while travelling in a convoy of vehicles, the agency said.

EFE said other members of the convoy heard shouting and when they went to the vehicle in which the three had been travelling, they had disappeared.

priffe 29 Nov 2009 23:36

AFP: Three Spanish tourists kidnapped in Mauritania: diplomat

Three Spanish tourists kidnapped in Mauritania: diplomat
(AFP) – 1 hour ago
NOUAKCHOTT — Three Spanish tourists were kidnapped on Sunday in northwestern Mauritania on the road linking the capital Nouakchott to the city of Nouadhibou, a Spanish diplomatic source said.
"Three tourists have been kidnapped, including a woman," the source said on condition of anonymity. "They were in a car, the last vehicle of a convoy that was heading from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott."
The source said the convoy had earlier delivered aid to Nouadhibou and was transporting donations that they intended to drop off in various towns along the route.
A security source also confirmed "the kidnapping of tourists" by armed men in a 4x4 vehicle near the town of Chelkhett Legtouta. Mauritanian authorities were searching for the kidnappers, the source said.
The incident came days after a French citizen was kidnapped in the northeast of neighbouring Mali.

mlock 29 Nov 2009 23:43

we are screwed...


priffe 29 Nov 2009 23:47


Originally Posted by mlock (Post 265960)
we are screwed...

Not yet :)

this could work in your favour as there will now be military swarming over the area and tightened security everywhere.

Next time the bandits will strike elsewhere.

We passed through a few days after the French family was murdered 2007
we were even in Aleg feeling safe since awareness was heightened

ps - so Richard was partly right, it happened in Mauri - - - but they (the bad guys) mostly strike where you don't expect them to, right?

xfiltrate 30 Nov 2009 03:49

A geography question for Sahara veterans
Chris and others, not too long ago I volunteered some information regarding the abduction of a foreign tourist couple in Tunisia. I hit the mark on direction of travel and the way the dress of couple after they were taken, long before the the facts became evident in the international press. I also predicted the couple would be released alive, they were.

I was asked, ordered, to give my sources or take flight to the HU bar with my observations. I did so.

This time, I will approach the topic in a more appropriate manner. I have a simple question, based on observations from the same undisclosed source.

Are there any remote caves or underground tunnels/facilities in the desert? Caves or underground tunnels that might have multiple secrete/hidden entrances and exits? Old mining sites or archeological digs? Just a thought regarding the location of the recent kidnap victims, right now.

This is not a whim but a well reasoned question. If such little known natural/man made geographical features exist it would be helpful for me to have GPS locations.

Thank you

Eat, Drink and Be Careful xfiltrate

priffe 30 Nov 2009 05:39

There is the Choum railroad tunnel...

kirkley 30 Nov 2009 09:17

Sounds to perfect to not be related...:

Mauritania Arrests 3 Suspected Terrorists, Tahalil Hebdo Says

By Hannah Armstrong

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Mauritanian security forces arrested three men accused of joining the terrorist group Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the Mauritanian daily Tahalil Hebdo reported today.
The group has claimed responsibility for attacks in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott this year, the murder of American citizen Christopher Leggett on June 23 and a suicide bombing in front of the French Embassy on Aug. 8 that wounded three.
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz vowed in his August inauguration speech to improve national security. Since then, France and Spain have pledged to help the security forces crack down on terrorism, smuggling and trafficking. Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is based in the rugged Sahel region spanning Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Algeria.
Mauritania Arrests 3 Suspected Terrorists, Tahalil Hebdo Says - Bloomberg.com

Chris Scott 30 Nov 2009 10:39

More news here (in Spanish - Google trans here) (it updates as the original El Pais page changes).


mlock 30 Nov 2009 11:53

If i understood right, that happend in the major road??????

Totally not safe to ride alone on bike after that....

xfiltrate 30 Nov 2009 14:06

Another insight...
According to the El País, article (in Spanish) referenced by Chris, the victims were of director/executive status. Usually, the Spanish use paid volunteers "cooperanntes," for convoys.

This operation seems to have had specific targets with "inside" intel.

It is not common for high level executives to travel with Spanish aid convoys.

Where is the Choum railroad tunnel?

I just noted from the El País article that one of the victims is director of a business that constructs tunnels,
perhaps his expertise was needed by the hostage takers.

Will have more tonight.

Eat, Drink and Be Careful xfiltrate

Yves 30 Nov 2009 17:57

There is a gold mine in Akjoujt (in 97 it was still exploited, Don't know is stoll today). Old, abandoned Cooper mines too.

Chris Scott 30 Nov 2009 19:22

I'm not a mining engineer but...
AFAIK these Akjoujt mines (still extant) are simple, open cast 'surface scraping/blasting' operations, no?

Same in much of the Sahara like Arlit and Zouerat and Bou Craa and all the salt mines.

It's the whole point. Out there you don't need to dig down with the time, expense and danger, you just keep looking on the surface. Something economically viable will eventually turn up on the desert floor, especially with cheap local labour.

I could be wrong but I have to say I find this talk of tunnels (we heard it before in 2003) and kidnapping tunnel execs a bit on the far side. Choum railway tunnel (the only one in the country?) was, I suspect, a joke...

Funnily enough only the other day I passed on here how many tedious checkpoints there now were on this very road. Clearly not enough.
Anyway, I hope it ends well for the 3 Spanish - and the French guy too.


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