News / Africa

Photos Released of Hostages Taken in Niger

Image taken from video and provided by U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group shows the first images of a group of foreign hostages working for a French energy company who were seized in Niger two weeks ago by an al-Qaida offshoot, according to the group that
Image taken from video and provided by U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group shows the first images of a group of foreign hostages working for a French energy company who were seized in Niger two weeks ago by an al-Qaida offshoot, according to the group that

A video posted to the website YouTube shows the seven hostages kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Niger.

The video was posted to YouTube and some jihadist websites on Thursday.

It shows a series of still photos, accompanied by an audio recording in which several people are questioned in French about their nationality, families, and the conditions of their abductions.

The speakers all name Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb as their abductors and say they are still being held by the Islamist militant group.

The French foreign ministry said the photos are authentic, and called them "an encouraging sign" in that they show the hostages to be alive.

Gunmen kidnapped five French nationals and two Africans on September 16 in the town of Arlit in northern Niger. Officials have said they believe the hostages are now in neighboring Mali.

In the images, the seven people are sitting in a row on sandy ground. A row of armed men wearing turbans stands behind them. Two armed men also sit on the ground, and a number of sport utility vehicles can be seen behind the group.

One face has been blurred in the images. That may be the sole woman captured.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. France's defense minister says French officials have been waiting for the kidnappers to make their demands.

France has sent a military intelligence unit to the region, but has said it wants to open communication with the militants in hopes of freeing the hostages.

The captives include two employees of the French nuclear energy firm Areva and five with a subsidiary of the French construction company Vinci.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has carried out previous kidnappings in the region, including that of a 78-year-old Frenchman who was abducted in Niger in April and later killed.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid