3 Spanish volunteers grabbed in Mauritania

Dec. 1, 2009 at 2:39 AM

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Gunmen in Mauritania are holding three humanitarian aid workers from Spain, a U.N. official says.

Richard Barrett of the United Nations said Albert Vilalta, Roque Pascual and Alicia Gamez of Barcelona Accion Solidaria were kidnapped Sunday while traveling in a 12-vehicle convoy from Nouakchott to Nouadhibou, Voice of America reported. The vehicles had stopped by the side of the road for a routine check when the men approached and fired their weapons, VOA said.

"The situation has got worse for countries like Mauritania and it may get worse for countries like Mali," Barrett said.

"In Mauritania there have been several attacks ..."

Barrett said a U.S. citizen, "some French tourists" and government troops have been killed. The Israeli Embassy also was attacked recently, he said.

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