Al-Qaida accuses France of endangering hostages
RABAT, Morocco—The North African branch of al-Qaida said Wednesday that France has broken off negotiations over the French hostages it has held over the past two years, endangering their lives.
Al-Qaida kidnapped four French employees of the Areva nuclear energy corporation from the northern Niger town of Arlit in September 2010.
"We call on the families of the hostages to make noise about this issue and say that silence is the biggest danger to your children," said the statement, which appeared on jihadi websites. "We cannot guarantee the health of the hostages if your government continues to neglect (this matter)."
The statement added that al-Qaida was always ready to negotiate, while criticizing French President Francois Hollande for exacerbating the situation by calling for an invasion of Mali, where the northern half has been conquered by Islamist extremists and the hostages are believed to be held.
The statement came as French President Francois Hollande, attending a meeting on the Sahel at the United Nations, called on the Security Council to meet quickly and adopt a resolution that would allow an African military intervention in Mali "as quickly as possible." (continue reading...)