Al-Qaeda claims kidnapping through audio tape

8th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

A spokesman for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said they are responsible for the kidnappings of a Frenchman and three Spaniards seized in November.

Dubai – A spokesman for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed the kidnappings of a Frenchman and three Spaniards, seized in Mali and Mauritania in November, in an audio tape released Tuesday by Al-Jazeera television.

"Two units of the valiant mujahedeen managed to kidnap four Europeans in two distinct operations: the first in Mali where Frenchman Pierre Camatte was seized on 25 November, and the second in Mauritania where three Spaniards were held on 29 November," spokesman Saleh Abu Mohammad said.

The spokesman, who identified the Spanish hostages, added that "France and Spain will be informed later of the legitimate demands of the mujahedeen." He did not go into detail about the demands.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is an offshoot of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda, the terror group that claimed responsibility for the 9/11 bombings in the United States.

Camatte was snatched from a hotel in Menaka in the Sahel region of northern Mali, more than 1,500 kilometres (1,000 miles) from the capital Bamako, during the night of 25 November.

Malian and Western security forces say the Frenchman is being held by a hardline faction within Al-Qaeda's north African branch.

AQIM claimed responsibility for killing Briton Edwin Dyer, one of a group of six Westerners kidnapped in the Sahel, on 31 May, according to SITE Intelligence, a US-based monitoring group.

The three Spanish volunteers, two men and a woman, were travelling in Mauritania in a convoy delivering humanitarian aid to west Africa when they were kidnapped on 29 November.

They have been named as Albert Vilalta, 35, Alicia Gamez, 35, and Roque Pascual, 50.

AFP / Expatica

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