PARIS, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The French family hostages would not get free if the Boko Haram members were still under arrest, the Nigerian Islamist group said Thursday in a video aired on French TV channel iTELE.
"We are proud to say that we retain seven French hostages," said a man holding a gun in the video and self-claimed as Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram group.
"We are holding them because the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities have arrested members of our families, and are brutalizing them and we know nothing of their conditions under which they are detained," the kidnapper said.
Reading a statement in the video, the gunman warned that "force does not work in freeing them and we are ready to defend ourselves vigorously."
The video came just three days following the release of another video, in which the father of the kidnapped French family spoke of their hard life after being detained by the Islamist group.
The father demanded the release of the detained Islamist members so as to give his family a chance to get free.
With four children aged five to 12 years old and three adults, the French family was kidnapped by individuals suspected to be members of Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram on Feb. 19 in Dabanga in north Cameroon on a road along the border with Nigeria.