by Florian Flade
Al-Qaida´s North African branch „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) has released a new video/audio message from the four French nuclear worker kidnapped last September. The video, which contains still images of the French hostages Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand, Thierry Dol and Marc Furrer and their audio messages urging French President Nicolas Sarkozy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and thereby meet the demands of al-Qaida.
France has no right to be involved in the war in Afghanistan, the hostages say in similar statements recorded between April 11-13. President Sarkozy should pull the French soldiers out of Afghanistan.
Seven staff of a Uranium mine operated by a French company were kidnapped by Al-Qaida militants in Niger. In February three of the group, a Madagascan man, a Togolese man and a French woman were released by the Islamists. According to some media speculation based on unnamed sources close to negotiation talks said Al-Qaida had demanded US 130 Million ransom. If these demands were met by the French government is unknown.