Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic : the UN takes over the country's peacekeeping

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fighting back against facial recognition

Read more

DEBATE

Fighting ISIS - What coalition against jihadists? (Part two)

Read more

DEBATE

Fighting ISIS - What coalition against jihadists?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO

Read more

ENCORE!

U2's Free Album Annoys Some Fans

Read more

FOCUS

Lebanon: Islamic State organisation advances on refugee camps

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Kostyantyn Yeliseyev, Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Italian FM to lead EU diplomacy: Is Mogherini up to the task?

Read more

France

French hostages held by al Qaeda are 'alive' in Mali

Video by Olivia Salazar-Winspear

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-28

Seven hostages, including five French nationals, held by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are "alive" in Mali, a source told AFP on Sunday. Since the Sept. 16 kidnapping in Niger, French officials have played down the likelihood of a military rescue.

AFP - Five French hostages kidnapped with a Togolese and a Madagascan by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb 10 days ago "are alive" in Mali, a Malian source close to the matter said Sunday.

"The seven hostages kidnapped in Niger ... are alive. We have given the information to France," the source told AFP.

He said the hostages were currently being held in the hilly desert zone of Timetrine, in the far north of Mali, bordering Algeria.

They were kidnapped by the local branch of Osama bin Laden's global jihadist network on September 16 from their homes in Arlit, a uranium mining town in the north of Niger.

Shortly after the kidnapping France dispatched an 80-strong military intelligence unit and spotter planes to the Sahara to try to track the gang down, mapping a desert area six times the size of France.

However officials have played down the likelihood of a military rescue mission.

Another source close to the case said: "we are working with France to find a solution, but we have clearly conveyed to our interlocuters that we do not want French, American, or any western troops on our soil."

Asked whether Bamako was an official mediator in the case, a Malian official said Paris had asked for assistance from several countries, "especially Mali".

"We are waiting for proof that the hostages are alive. That could be a photo, a video or both," the official said, requesting anonymity.

Army chiefs from Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger were holding a security meeting on Sunday on their strategy to deal with the Al-Qaeda militants in their region.
 

Date created : 2010-09-26

  • FRANCE

    Defence minister believes French hostages in Sahara are alive

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France rules out immediate military action to rescue Niger hostages

    Read more

  • TERRORISM

    Key figures in al Qaeda's North African branch

    Read more

COMMENT(S)