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Police lose track of convicted terrorist

PARIS — An Algerian convicted of planning terror attacks in France has disappeared after being placed under house arrest while awaiting a legal decision on his deportation from France, sources said Monday.

Said Arif was convicted in 2007 for planning attacks on French targets in 2001 and 2002. French investigators said he was linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the deceased former leader of Iraq’s branch of al Qaeda.

He was given a 10-year sentence but was released from custody in December last year and placed under house arrest in a hotel in the southern town of Millau, while he awaited a judgment on whether to send him back to Algeria.

The European Court of Human Rights has asked France not to send him back to his homeland, where, his lawyer says, he faces the risk of torture.


Police arrests suspects linked to al Qaeda

TUNIS — The armed group that clashed with Tunisian forces in the south of the country earlier this month had links to al Qaeda, a Tunisian official said Monday as he announced a wave of arrests tied to the shootout.

Tunisian forces caught up with a three-man armed militant cell Feb. 2 and killed two of them after a gun battle the day before that wounded two soldiers and a national guard member.

Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh said that 12 other Tunisians have been arrested on suspicion of belonging to the group, and 34 Kalashnikov assault rifles were seized in a raid along with large amounts of ammunition and Tunisia, Libyan and American currency. At least nine suspects escaped.


Cameron to hold talks on Scottish independence

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office says he will head to Scotland for talks on the country’s referendum for independence, a vote that could see the breakup of Britain.

Mr. Cameron is due Thursday to meet with Scotland’s leader, First Minister Alex Salmond.

Mr. Salmond held discussions Monday with Michael Moore, the British Cabinet minister responsible for Scotland, over his plans to hold the vote in the fall of 2014.

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