European hostages in North Africa still alive: al Qaeda

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 22, 2013 11:11 AM

DAKAR (Reuters) - Eight European hostages, including five from France, being held by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are safe, the Islamist group said in a statement posted on its Twitter account on Saturday.

"We would like to assure the family and relatives of the hostages of the safety of their children," said the message, posted by AQIM's Andalus Media arm.

The message repeated previous statements by the group that it would kill the hostages if there was any new French military intervention in North Africa, but said it remained open to negotiations to free them.

It had previously said it had killed six other hostages.

(Reporting by Bate Felix in Dakar and Angus McDowall in Riyadh; Editing by Kevin Liffey)