Al-Qaida extends deadlines for hostage demands

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 7, 2010 09:36

 
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Al-Qaida's offshoot in North Africa has extended deadlines for meeting its demands for the release of French and Italian hostages.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb abducted Frenchman Pierre Camatte in Mali on Nov. 25. The group is demanding the release of four of its members arrested in Mali.

A message posted on an Islamist Web site Saturday said it had extended the deadline until Feb. 20 and warned that the governments of France and Mali were responsible for his life.

The group also said it informed an Italian mediator of the names of prisoners it wants released in exchange for freeing Italian hostage Sergio Cicala by the end of the month.

The statement did not mention Cicala's wife, who was kidnapped with him in Mauritania on Dec. 19.

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