Nouakchott, Mauritania: Police in Mauritania released two of seven people arrested last week on suspicion of being members of an Al Qaida group operating in northwest Africa, the country's security chief said.
The remaining five detainees will be held for 30 days while authorities continue interrogating them, said Mohammad Abdullahi, director of national security. The two men who were released are no longer considered suspects by the authorities.
Abdullahi said the five still in detention were suspected of belonging to Al Qaida in Islamic North Africa, an Algerian group affiliated with Al Qaida.
He said they were part of a group trying to buy explosives to use in attacks in other northern African nations, not Mauritania. One of them was the group's financier, Abdullahi said.
On Wednesday, a senior security official said he believed the group was plotting attacks on Mauritanian soil. The men, all Mauritanians, have yet to be charged and are being interrogated, the official said.