AQIM Claims Abduction Of French In Niger

Update on this post

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DUBAI (AFP) – Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed the abduction of French citizens in Niger and said it will make demands to France regarding them, Al-Jazeera television reported on Tuesday.

"In announcing our claim for this operation, we inform the French government that the mujahedeen will later transmit their legitimate demands," AQIM spokesman Salah Abi Mohammed said in an audio tape played by Al-Jazeera.

"We also warn (the French government) against any sort of stupidity," he added, in reference to any possible military operation, as French military planes scouring the desert on Tuesday in an effort to locate the seven.

The statement also said Algerian Abdelhamid Abou Zeid had led the kidnap operation.

The Niger government said earlier in the day that the kidnappers were "affiliated" to a group headed by Abou Zeid, AQIM's leader in northern Mali.

We pray for the safety of the hostages.

Paris probes al Qaeda abduction claim of French nationals

French authorities are probing an al Qaeda claim that its North African branch is responsible for the kidnapping of seven hostages - including five French nationals - in northern Niger, as the search for the hostages in one of the world’s most hostile regions entered its sixth day.

The seven hostages - employees of the French nuclear group Areva and construction firm Vinci - were kidnapped last week in Arlit, a mining town in uranium rich northern Niger.

France24 Video

Posted by: Stable Hand at 09:56 AM


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