LYON (AFP) — Interpol said Sunday it had issued an international search warrant for one of the suspected killers of four French adventure tourists last month in Mauritania.
Mohamed Habib Maarouve is "believed to be one of three people involved in the attack in Aleg, which also left a fifth person seriously injured," the international police agency based in Lyon, eastern France, said in a statement.
An Interpol search warrant, or Red Notice, is intended to inform the agency's 186 member states that a suspect is wanted by a national jurisdiction, but is not in itself an arrest warrant.
According to the notice, Habib is a 26-year-old Mauritanian national from Nouakchott.
Two of his suspected accomplices, Mohammed Chabarnoux and Sidi Ould Sidina, were arrested on January 11 in Guinea Bissau following a manhunt across west Africa, and have since been extradited to Mauritania.
Mauritanian authorities believe the three to have links to the Al-Qaeda network in north Africa.
Eight other Mauritanians suspected of having helped the killers and who were arrested soon after the probe began in the southern region of Aleg were brought before a prosecutor Sunday in Nouakchott.
Four of those were charged with helping the killers flee and evade capture, according to a court source who asked for anonymity.
Two of these -- Moustapha Ould Abdel Kader, suspected of having ordered the attack, and Taki Ould Moulaye Ould Sinni -- were denied bail.
The remaining four, including two women, were released owing to a lack of evidence.
The roadside killing and an attack on a military base in north Mauritania two days later, which left three soldiers dead, led to the cancellation of the Dakar 2008 motor rally across the Sahara.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliated group claimed responsibility for the attacks on Mauritanian troops.