Al-Jazeera airs photo of 'hostages' seized by Qaeda in Niger

30th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Al-Jazeera television aired on Thursday a photo of what it said were seven people taken hostage two weeks ago in Niger by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, among whom are five French.

A still photo purported to show all seven -- the French, a Togolese and a Madagascan -- seated in the sand with armed men behind them.

Al-Jazeera said it also had an audio tape of four of the French being interrogated about their marital status and the circumstances of their kidnap.

For its part, the SITE Intelligence Group said AQIM's media arm, the Al-Andalus Foundation, posted the photo and sound on Islamist websites.

The US-based monitoring service said the captives were questioned about their names, ages, marital status and if they know who their kidnappers are. In it, they acknowledge the kidnappers as AQIM.

Kidnapped on September 16, the hostages are being held in a mountain stronghold in northern Mali, according to a Malian source confirmed by French officials.

© 2010 AFP

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