No confirmation French among Algeria hostages: government

17th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

France cannot confirm that its citizens are among foreign hostages taken by Islamic extremists at an Algerian gas field, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Thursday.

"We are not able, at this current time, to confirm the presence of French citizens among the hostages," she told Radio Classique.

Asked about links between France's military intervention in Mali and the attack in Algeria, she said: "This hostage-taking shows the danger represented by these terrorist forces in Mali."

Islamist gunmen killed two people and took 41 foreign hostages in Wednesday's attack, claiming vengeance for the Algerian government's decision to open its airspace to French warplanes pounding Islamist rebels in neighbouring Mali.


© 2013 AFP

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