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Video Shows French Hostages Held by North African Al-Qaida Group

Photos released April 27, 2011 by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and broadcast on Al-Andalus TV channel shows (clockwise from top L) Pierre Legrand, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dol and Marc Furrer, the four French hostages captured last September in

A video released on jihadist websites shows four French hostages kidnapped by a North African al-Qaida group last September.

The U.S.-based SITE intelligence group says the video was posted on Tuesday. It shows photos of the hostages with armed militants standing behind them.

In an audio message accompanying the pictures, the hostages call on French President Nicolas Sarkozy to respond to al-Qaida's demands that he withdraw French troops from Afghanistan. French forces are part of the international coalition battling the Taliban.

The Associated Press reports French officials say they are working to verify the authenticity and date of the video.

The four hostages were among seven people, including two Africans, kidnapped in northern Niger last September. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the kidnappings.

The group has since released three of the hostages, including the Africans.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.