Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Left-wing activism on the rise in the United States

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

'Huge failure' on refugee crisis is 'existential problem for EU'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Divisions over migration policy: What should the EU do?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

A trip through France's breathtaking Auvergne region

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

When Modi met Trump: Budding romance or one-night stand?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

How to counter Islamic State group propaganda?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Coal power plant in Senegal worries residents; and the Venezuelan TV show... in a bus

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Italian government bails out two regional banks

Read more

FASHION

Behind the scenes at Dior’s star-studded desert show

Read more

Africa

France will 'do everything' to free kidnapped citizens

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-19

France will "do everything" to free five French nationals kidnapped in Niger last week by suspected al Qaeda militants, government spokesman Luc Chatel said on Sunday. Chatel declined to specify whether France was considering military action.

AFP - France refused Sunday to rule out taking military action to free seven hostages, including five French nationals, kidnapped in Niger last week by suspected Al-Qaeda militants.
   
Mauritanian troops -- who have operated with French support in recent months -- are already in action against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in northern Mali, but France says its forces are not involved for now.
   
"France will do everything to free the hostages," government spokesman Luc Chatel told Radio J in Paris.
   
Asked whether that could involve military action, he replied: "I won't say any more, you must understand why, given the hour at which I'm speaking."
   

Chatel said France had received no claim of responsibility nor any ransom demand for the latest kidnappings.
   
French officials had said previously that they believed the kidnappers were connected to AQIM and had taken the hostages to Mali.
   
In July French commandos accompanied Mauritanian troops in a raid on an Al-Qaeda camp in Mali which left seven militants dead but failed to find a previous French hostage who is now known to be have been killed.
   
Mauritanian troops went into action against AQIM in Mali again on Saturday, but Chatel said: "No French troops are engaged in this second operation."
   
The latest batch of hostages was kidnapped on Thursday from their homes in Arlit in northern Niger by suspected AQIM-linked gunmen, or Tuareg bandits who may have planned to sell them on to the Islamists.
   
The seven are five French nationals, including a married couple, one Togolese and one Madagascan. All worked for French companies involved in uranium mining in the Arlit region.
   
A Mauritanian military official told AFP that troops were continuing on Sunday to "pound" suspected Al-Qaeda positions in northern Mali.
  

Date created : 2010-09-19

  • NIGER

    Who is behind the kidnapping of French nuclear workers?

    Read more

  • TERRORISM

    Mauritanian troops clash with suspected al Qaeda militants

    Read more

  • NIGER

    Kidnapping prompts French companies to evacuate expat staff

    Read more

COMMENT(S)