Reuters
January 17, 2012

Al Qaeda took hostage an Algerian regional governor near the Libyan border, security sources said on Tuesday, an incident that will raise new concerns about militants exploiting Libya’s security vacuum.

The kidnapping, deep in the Sahara desert, was the most audacious attack on a senior Algerian official in years. One security expert said al Qaeda has been emboldened because its fighters could use Libya, in turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow, as a safe haven.

Security sources said later on Tuesday they had information that the governor had been released, but this could not be confirmed.

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