by Florian Flade
Nearly three weeks after five Europeans were abducted in Mali the terrorist network „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. In a new statement released in Jihadi Internet forums AQIM claims two French nationals were kidnapped in the Northeast of Mali on November 24. Both men disappeared from their hotel in the town of Hombori.
The following day, November 25, European tourists were sitting in a restaurant in the city of Timbuktu when armed gunmen attacked and abducted one Swede, a Dutchman and a South African holding a British passport. A 58 year-old German man named Martin A. who was part of the tourist group resisted the kidnappers and was then killed by the Al-Qaida gunmen.
AQIM now presents two images of the two hostage groups in addition to a written statement demanding France to end all military campaigns against Muslims. Further more AQIM urges the release of imprisoned Islamists.
Germany´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has meanwhile confirmed the death of a German citizen in Mali. The Ministry also released a travel warning fro Mali, especially in the region around the ancient city of Timbuktu.