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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Algerian rebel gets life sentence
Amari Saifi
Saifi was captured by Chadian rebels
A leading Algerian militant, wanted in Germany for the 2003 kidnapping of 32 European tourists, has been sentenced to life in prison by an Algiers court.

Amari Saifi, deputy head of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), was found guilty of forming an terrorist group.

He is thought to have masterminded the tourists' abduction. A German woman died of exhaustion during the ordeal.

The GSPC has declared it has links to al-Qaeda.

Saifi - a former paratrooper - was captured by Chadian rebels in mysterious circumstances.

He was passed to the Libyans, who in turn handed him over to Algeria, AP news agency reports.

He is presently being detained at an unknown location.

In the same hearing, three Algerians were acquitted while two others were given three years in prison.


SEE ALSO:
Sahara hostage tells of ordeal
15 May 03 |  Africa
Sahara hostages fly home
14 May 03 |  Africa
Tourists vanish in Sahara
30 Mar 03 |  Africa
Country profile: Algeria
06 May 03 |  Country profiles


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