A 61-year-old suspected of holding Omar Bin Omran captive in a basement has been arrested FILE PHOTO © Anthony ASAEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

An Algerian man has been discovered alive in his neighbor’s cellar after being missing for 26 years.

The family of Omar Bin Omran, who vanished in Djelfa, Algeria in 1998, was sure he had been killed during the Algerian Civil War, a decade-long conflict between the government and Islamist groups from late 1991 to 2002. Now 45, Bin Omran was found just 200 meters from where he grew up, rescued from a basement hidden beneath a hay-covered floor in his neighbor’s home.

The alleged captor, a 61-year-old doorman, was detained by police after he attempted to flee the scene. He is accused of holding Bin Omran captive and killing his dog, which had stayed near the location where its owner was hidden.

According to a court official, the public prosecutor’s office received a complaint from an unidentified source, reportedly the suspect’s brother, claiming a man was concealed within a sheepfold in the house.

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“On 12 May at 8pm local time, [they] found victim Omar Bin Omran, aged 45, in the cellar of his neighbor,” the official said.

Local media reports indicate that upon being rescued, Bin Omran said he often observed his family from a distance but was unable to cry out for help, believing he was under a “spell” cast by his captor.

His mother, who firmly believed her son was still alive, passed away in 2013 without knowing his true fate.

The investigation into the shocking case continues, with Bin Omran receiving both medical and psychological care. Authorities have vowed that the “perpetrator of this heinous crime” will face “severe” repercussions.

Families of Algerian war victims continue to demand justice for their missing and deceased relatives. The conflict claimed approximately 200,000 lives, and it is estimated that up to 20,000 individuals were abducted throughout the conflict. (RT)