An Algerian missing for 26 years was found captive in a neighbor’s basement Crime news

Police say the man, who first went missing in 1998, was being held captive by a 61-year-old neighbor just minutes from his home.

An Algerian man who went missing in 1998 during the country’s civil war has been found alive in his neighbor’s basement after 26 years, according to authorities.

The country’s Ministry of Justice said on Tuesday that the man, identified as Omar Bin Omran or Omar B, disappeared when he was 19 and was long believed to have been kidnapped or murdered.

But he was found alive earlier this week at the age of 45, after a neighbor held him captive in a sheep pen hidden among bales of hay just 200 meters from his old home in Djelfa, part of northern Algeria.

The ministry said that an investigation is underway into the “heinous” crime and that the victim is receiving medical and psychological care.

Police arrested the alleged kidnapper, a 61-year-old janitor, after he tried to escape. The kidnapping was discovered after the suspect’s brother posted revealing information on social media, amid an alleged inheritance dispute between the siblings.

On May 12 at 8 p.m. local time, [they] A court official said that the victim, Omar bin Omran, 45 years old, was found in the basement of his neighbor, B.A., 61 years old.

The victim’s mother died in 2013, while the family still believed he was likely dead. Media in Algeria reported that Ben Omrane told his rescuers that he could sometimes see his family from afar, but felt unable to call out because of a “spell” cast on him by his captor.

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Ben Omrane’s discovery on Sunday solves a mystery that has lingered in his community since Algeria’s bloody civil war. Relatives of war victims are still searching for justice for their missing and dead loved ones.

About 200,000 people were killed in the 1990s during the war between the government and Islamist fighters. This period is sometimes referred to as the “Black Decade” in Algeria.

It is believed that up to 20,000 people were kidnapped during the war that ended in 2002. According to SOS Desparous, an Algerian association that works for those forcibly disappeared during the war, about 8,000 Algerians disappeared between 1992 and 1998 alone.

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