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Thursday, September 13, 2007

AQIM Transporting Fighters to to Europe?

Algeria, 11 Sept. (AKI) - The Algerian coastguard detained overnight 86 would-be immigrants to Italy, according to the Algerian authorities, quoted by Algerian French language daily Liberte on Tuesday.

The illegal migrants were aboard five 10 metre fishing boats intercepted by the coastguard 22 miles off the Algerian coastal city of Anaba after a chase.
The would-be immigrants, all aged between 17 and 25 hail from various regions in Algeria, mostly from the east.
They had been hoping to reach the Italian island of Sardinia.
A further 20 young Algerian would-be immigrants were intercepted by Algerian coastguards last Saturday shortly after they set sail for Sardinia from Sidi-Salem beach, close to Anaba, which lies to the east of the Algerian capital, Algiers.
In a gesture of desperation one of the group doused the boat with petrol and set it alight, causing panic among his fellow passengers. The coastguard had to rescue many of the would-be immigrants from the sea after they threw themselves overboard, Liberte reported.
The sea crossing from Algeria to Sardina has emerged this year as a new route for illegal immigrants heading for Italy.
Scores of young men have reached the Italian island in what are apparently pilot runs by the people trafffickers.

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