An Algerian army colonel said a truck belonging to two of the 31 missing Europeans had been found. The colonel speculated that the tourists got lost in a major sandstorm that hit the area in late February, and downplayed talk of the Europeans being kidnapped by local bandits. The truck was found 150 kilometers west of Illizi. The area is largely desert wilderness. Algeria contains 775,000 square miles (about a quarter the size of the US) of Sahara desert.