These brave mujahedin mounted a Christmas Eve attack on picknickers. “Mauritanians Arrested in Tourist Deaths: 2 Mauritanians Arrested in Connection to Killings of French Tourists, Said Linked to al-Qaida,” by Assimo Balde for The Associated Press (thanks to BDT):
Two Mauritanians suspected of involvement in the killings of four French tourists were arrested Friday and officials said they are believed to belong to an Algerian-based terror cell affiliated with al-Qaida.
The two suspects, both in their 20s, have confessed to participating in the Christmas Eve attack, said Lucinda Barbosa, director of judicial police in the tiny West African nation of Guinea-Bissau.
The country is more than 400 miles south of where the tourists were shot while picnicking outside the Mauritanian town of Aleg.
“They confirmed their participation in the assassination,” Barbosa said. “From a legal standpoint, they are still innocent. … But really, all the leads we are pursuing indicate that these are the key players in the deaths of the four French tourists.”
A group of five tourists, including several members of the same family, were eating on the side of a highway on Christmas Eve when they were attacked by three men who sprayed them with automatic weapons fire, according to police.
Four of them, including two children, were killed on the spot. The sole survivor was flown to his hometown in France for treatment.
The scale of the attack and the fact that authorities in Mauritania blamed a sleeper terrorist cell linked to al-Qaida led the French organizers of the Dakar Rally to cancel the famed trans-Saharan race, which was to have taken place this week.