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Video Appears to Show French Hostages Abducted in Cameroon

In video, captive says group was abducted by Islamist sect Boko Haram, members of whom are seen below, Maiduguri, Nigeria, Feb. 23, 2013.
A video that appears to show seven French nationals kidnapped in Cameroon last week has appeared online.

The video, posted to YouTube on Monday, shows two men, a woman and four children sitting in a small tent. They are surrounded by three masked men, two of whom are holding rifles.

One of the French men says the group was abducted by Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad — the Arabic name for the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram.

A gunman, speaking in Arabic, warns the hostages will be killed unless Islamist militants are released in Cameroon and Nigeria.

There was no indication as to where or when the video was recorded.

Seven French nationals, all members of the same family, were kidnapped February 19 while on vacation in northern Cameroon. French President Francois Hollande later said they were probably taken to neighboring Nigeria, and French officials blamed the abduction on Boko Haram.

The French Foreign Ministry, however, sain an interview that it has not confirmed whether Boko Haram was involved with the video.

A different Nigerian militant group, known as Ansaru, claimed responsibility for kidnapping a French national in Nigeria in December, and seven foreigners from a construction site in northern Nigeria February 18.

Boko Haram has been blamed for more than 1,000 deaths in scores of bombing and shooting attacks, mostly in northern Nigeria, since it launched an uprising in 2009.

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