News

Al-Qaida-Linked Group in Africa Claims Hostages in Good Health

On Tuesday, the group claimed responsibility for last month's kidnappings of a French citizen, Pierre Camatte, in Mali and three Spanish aid workers, Albert Vilalta, Roque Pascual and Alicia Gamez, in Mauritania.

Map of Mauritania
Map of Mauritania

An al-Qaida-linked group in North Africa says four Europeans it is holding are in good health.

The group - al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb - released a statement posted on Islamic Web sites Wednesday.  It said the hostages are being treated according to sharia, or Islamic law.

On Tuesday, the group claimed responsibility for last month's kidnappings of a French citizen, Pierre Camatte, in Mali and three Spanish aid workers, Albert Vilalta, Roque Pascual and Alicia Gamez, in Mauritania.

A spokesman for the al-Qaida-linked group made the claim in an audiotape obtained by al-Jazeera television.  He said France and Spain would be informed later of the group's demands.

The Spanish government has said it believes the tape and the claim are authentic.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is a Sunni Muslim organization formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat. The group began as an insurrection against Algeria's military rulers after they canceled parliamentary elections in 1992.

The United States has warned that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb poses a threat to Westerners across Africa's Sahel region.  U.S. officials blame the group for the fatal shooting of an American in Mauritania in June and for other killings.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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

Feature Story

An aerial view shows a thinned crowd of pro-democracy student protesters continuing to occupy the streets around the government complex in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Chinese President's Risky Options for Dealing with Hong Kong Protests

So far, Beijing has refused to back down on its August 31 ruling that Hong Kong can hold its first direct election for its leader only if all candidates are strictly vetted by a nominating committee More

Special Reports