Al-Qaida claims kidnapping of 5 French in Niger

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 21, 2010 21:32

 
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Al-Qaida's North Africa branch has claimed responsibility for kidnapping five French nationals that disappeared in the deserts of Niger last week.

Seven foreign workers were kidnapped from a French-operated uranium mine in Niger Thursday.

In an audio recording broadcast by the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera on Tuesday, a voice purported to be from Al-Qaida in the Maghreb said the group "overcame security forces in the area and captured 5 French nuclear experts."

He added demands would be forthcoming.

The hostages — including five French citizens — were last seen heading toward the neighboring countries of Mali and Algeria with about 30 captors before being seemingly swallowed by the vast desert.

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