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Hollande says al-Qaeda behind Nigeria kidnapping

English.news.cn   2012-12-21 18:12:16            

PARIS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande on Friday said Islamist insurgents from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were responsible for French national's kidnapping in Nigeria.

"He has been abducted by a heavily armed group that killed two Nigerians and no doubt it has links with AQIM or groups who are now in Mali," the president told the local broadcaster Europe1.

"I can not accept that there are continued threats to our citizens. We must be firm while maintaining contacts (to release hostage)... I refuse the trade of hostages," he added.

On Monday, 30 gunmen kidnapped a French national in northern Nigeria and killed two people after storming a residence where expatriate workers were staying.

French expatriates have been the target of Islamist groups in the Sahel region in response to Paris' military commitment in Afghanistan and to continued support of a planned military operation to oust Islamists insurgents from the northern region of Mali.

Seven French nationals are already in the hands of kidnappers in the region.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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