A police commissioner told The Associated Press that two men have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of three Europeans from a refugee camp in Algeria in October.
The commissioner, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said that the two were taken into custody in the Mauritanian city of Nouadhibou, located on the coast north of Nouakchott.
He said the two men are from Western Sahara. They had crossed into Mauritania after helping carry out the kidnapping of the three foreign aid workers _ two Spaniards and an Italian national.
The commissioner said the men had rented an apartment in Nouadhibou about ten days ago. The foreigners are believed to have been handed over to al-Qaida's North African branch, which has kidnapped over 50 foreigners since 2003.