News

    African Group with Al-Qaida Ties Says it Kidnapped Italian Couple

    Spokesman for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb says kidnapping was tied to Italy's crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    African Group with Al-Qaida Ties Says it Kidnapped Italian Couple
    African Group with Al-Qaida Ties Says it Kidnapped Italian Couple

    Italy says it will not negotiate with an al-Qaida group that has claimed responsibility for kidnapping two Italians in Mauritania. The North African al-Qaida branch known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said on Sunday that it was behind the recent kidnapping of an Italian couple in Mauritania.

    In an audio message broadcast on al-Arabiya television on Monday, a spokesman for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said the group is behind this month's kidnapping of an Italian couple in Mauritania. The spokesman said the kidnapping was tied to what he called Italy's crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Italy has 3,150 troops in Afghanistan and 91 troops in Iraq. It announced this month it would send an additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan in 2010.

    Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Monday that Rome had no direct contact with any representative of the group and did not plan to negotiate with a terrorist organization.

    Frattini said there would be no change in Italy's policy in Afghanistan.

    Italian citizens Sergio Cicala and his wife Philomene Kaboree disappeared in southeast Mauritania on December 18.  Afterward, Mauritanian authorities found the couple's car abandoned and riddled with bullet holes.

    The couple's disappearance followed the abduction of three Spaniards in northern Mauritania in late November, another kidnapping claimed by the same al-Qaida group.

    Mauritanian security forces said last week they had arrested a suspect in the kidnapping.  Sources said the man was from neighboring Mali, where the group has also claimed responsibility for abducting a Frenchman. In addition, they claim to be behind the abduction of three Spanish aid workers in Mauritania last month, and U.S. officials blame the group for the killing of an American teacher in June in the capital city.

    Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is a Sunni organization, which was formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat. It began as an insurrection against Algeria's secular military rulers after they canceled parliamentary elections in 1992 when it appeared a coalition of Islamist groups might take power.

    It has since expanded and aligned itself with the broader al-Qaida terrorist network, claiming responsibility for suicide bombings in Algeria last year and the kidnapping of two Austrian tourists in Tunisia who were later freed in Mali.

    It is considered a terrorist group by both the U.S. State Department and the European Union. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.