Niger kidnappers linked to Al-Qaeda inspired group

21st September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Kidnappers who seized five French nationals and two Africans in Niger were "affiliated' to an Al-Qaeda-linked group, the Niger governemnt said on Tuesday.

"We have not received any claims of responsibility but we have analysed the information that has reached us. We have also analysed the evidence that we have collected," government spokesman Laouali Dan Dahhe told reporters.

"Based on this evidence, we are in a position to say that the group which undertook this unacceptable kidnapping is a group affiliated to the group of Abou Zeid who is himself linked with... Al Qaeda," he added.

Zeid is the leader in northern Mali of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), considered the north African wing of Al-Qaeda, which was deemed responsible for the murders of British hostage Edwin Dyer in 2009 and French hostage Michel Germaneau in July.

© 2010 AFP

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