2007-12-25 23:31:37 Xinhua English
BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Four French tourists were killed, and one injured in Aleg,by three gunmen who were known members of the Algeria-based terror network al Qaeda in Islamic North Africa, said a statement issued by the public prosecutor's office in Mauritania's capital Tuesday.
Mauritanian prosecutors called the brutal slaying a terrorist act.
The four tourists were family members, and the father, the only survivor in his 70s, was seriously injured in the leg and hospitalized in intensive care in Dakar.
They were shot while picnicking on the side of a road near a small town 150 miles east of Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, police said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said investigation into the incident is still underway.
Two of the suspects were accused of being members of the al Qaeda-linked terror group earlier this year and of having undergone military training in Algeria. The trial of one of them was postponed, the other was acquitted. There was no detail about the third one, according to the statement.
A man who allegedly arranged a taxi for the three gunmen was detained.
Police believe they may have crossed the border into Senegal. Senegalese authorities said they were aware of the case and were hunting for them.