Kenya: we will not bargain with al Shabaab over hostages

By REUTERS
January 24, 2013 17:13

 
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NAIROBI - Kenyan officials said on Thursday they would not negotiate with al-Qaida-allied Somali militants who have threatened to kill their Kenyan hostages unless Nairobi frees Muslims held on terrorism charges.

On Wednesday al Shabaab released a video of two Kenyan hostages seized a year ago and told Kenya to meet its demands.

Days earlier, the group said it had killed French hostage Denis Allex to avenge France's persecution of Muslims and its military operations against Islamists, including in Mali.

Colonel Cyrus Oguna, spokesman for the Kenyan military which has been battling al Shabaab in Somalia since October 2011, said the hostages shown in the video were not prisoners of war because they were non-combatants.

"The government cannot negotiate with terrorists so that is out. What al Shabaab is doing is a criminal activity that is punishable by any law. They should just release them," Oguna told Reuters.

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