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Thursday, March 13, 2008
Update on kidnapped Austrian tourists

Three days after it announced it had captured them, the group calling itself Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has now posted pictures of Wolfgang Ebner and Andrea Kloiber on the internet. Kloiber's face is obscured in all the pictures by what appears to be a crude post-production effect.

A message accompanying the pictures said that the pair's security lay in Austrian hands and that they'd be released if all AQ prisoners in Tunisia and Algeria were set free. The message set a deadline of three days.

Just where the pair are being held remains a mystery. Two days ago an Algerian paper said they had been taken through Libya and Algeria into Mali. Austria's Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed to CNN that it was working with Malian authorities, along with those in Tunisia and Algeria, to try to find them.

From Andrew Carey

UPDATE (18TH MARCH): AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS DEADLINE/ULTIMATUM EXTENDED BY A WEEK 
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