Algeria: April 9, 2003


 The Austrian government has sent a four man investigation team to southern Algeria to help find the eight Austrians who have disappeared. Switzerland has sent two investigators (four of the missing are Swiss.) Some of the locals in southern Algeria blame poor GPS signals, but no one else has reported GPS problems now, or in the last few months. The situation is quite a mystery. This desolate area, which covers most of southern Algeria, has long been used mainly by smugglers, drug gangs and outlaws of all sorts. Nomadic herders squeeze a living out of the sparse grasslands. A lot of people have guns down there, but even kidnappers get in touch to make their demands. Islamic terrorists kill for publicity, while gangs eventually have to try and sell their booty. But none of the tourist's gear has shown up in area market places. It's a mystery, and a growing one that could go in several directions.


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