Swiss hostage 'suffering a lot'

6th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Malian negotiator says Werner Greitner, kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in January, is in a critical state.

Bamako -- Swiss national Werner Greitner, kidnapped by Al-Qaeda's north African branch in January, is suffering a lot and hardly eating, an official from northern Mali told AFP Friday.

"He is hardly eating at all. He is suffering a lot. We are very worried," the official involved in negotiating his release said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another negotiator added, "The situation is very worrisome. The kidnappers have not yet killed him but he is in a critical state. He is hardly eating."

The group holding Greitner, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), on 31 May killed British hostage Edwin Dyer after London would not meet their demands.

The group led by Algerian-born Mohamed Abou Zeid is believed to be responsible for kidnapping four European tourists in Niger in January.

In a statement posted on an Islamic website earlier in July Al-Qaeda's north African branch demanded the release of Islamic radical Abu Qatada.

Switzerland has condemned Dyer's beheading as a "barbaric act" but stressed that this would not prevent Bern from making "intense efforts" to seek Greitner's release.

AFP / Expatica

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