Qaeda claims kidnap of Frenchmen later killed: Jazeera
Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch claimed Thursday the kidnapping of two Frenchmen in Niger, saying they were later killed in clashes between militants and French special forces, according to an audio message aired on Al-Jazeera news channel.
"A group of mujahedeen (holy warriors) stormed on January 7 into the fortified diplomatic quarter in Niamey and succeeded in kidnapping two Frenchmen," said the audio message attributed to a spokesman for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
"Two heroic clashes between the mujahedeen and the French and Niger forces took place and resulted in a catastrophic failure to free the two hostages," he said.
"The two hostages were killed, as well as two members of the special forces," he added, referring to the pursuit by French and Niger security forces across the desert and into neighbouring Mali.
© 2011 AFP