French Qaeda hostages in Africa still alive: Sarkozy

24th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

France is "certain" that five French hostages seized in Niger by an al-Qaeda regional offshoot are still alive, President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters Monday.

The group was seized in September along with a Togolese and a Madagascan colleague from Niger's uranium mining town of Arlit and later taken across the border into Mali.

Their abduction was claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), whose leader warned France to pull its troops out of Afghanistan if it wants to see their safe return.

© 2011 AFP

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