Algerian man missing for 26 years found held in neighbour's home
Illustrative image. Image Credit: Pexel

Algiers: An Algerian man who had been missing for 26 years has been found in his neighbour's house, just a few minutes' walk away, the country's justice ministry said Tuesday.

The man only identified as Omar B. had vanished at the age of 19 during the Algerian Civil War in 1998, and his family assumed he had been kidnapped or killed.

Now aged 45, he was found amid haystacks only about 200 metres away in the city of Djelfa after the captor's brother aired grievances on social media, reportedly due to an inheritance dispute.

The alleged culprit, a 61-year-old doorman at the municipality in the nearby town of El Guedid, was taken into custody after attempting to flee, the ministry said.

Algerian media reported that the victim said he had been unable to call out for help "because of a spell that his captor had cast on him".

The ministry said the investigation was still ongoing, adding that the victim was receiving medical and psychological care after the crime it described as "heinous".