Qaeda allies seek 90 million euros for hostages-sources

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 12:21 PM
Qaeda allies seek 90 million euros for hostages-sources

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Kidnappers are demanding 90 million euros ($127 million) for the return of four French hostages captured in Niger and held hostage by al Qaeda's North African wing, sources close to mediation efforts said on Monday.

The kidnappers made the demand within the past few days, a Nigerien military intelligence source said. A source close to French nuclear group Areva confirmed the ransom demand.

The four French nationals were part of a group of seven, including employees of Areva and fellow French firm Vinci, who were kidnapped last September. The other three have been released.

(Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalaatchi; editing by Mark John)