At least 7 French hostages held in Africa

2013-04-19 14:13

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - At least seven French citizens are still held hostage in Africa after the release on Friday of seven members of a French family who were kidnapped in Cameroon in February.

The abductions are all claimed by Islamist groups, with among their number, at least six by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) in the Sahel, the semi-arid belt south of the Sahara desert that stretches across a swathe of western Africa.

An eighth hostage was reported executed last March in Mali by Aqim, but his death has not been confirmed.

Niger

On September 16 2010, kidnappers abduct five French people, a Togolese and a Madagascan, mostly working for French public nuclear giant Areva and its subcontractor Satom, in a uranium mining region of Niger.

Aqim claims the kidnapping on September 21.

A French woman hostage - Francoise Larribe - who is ill, is freed along with the Togolese and the Madagascan in February 2011.

The four other French hostages - Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret - are still in Aqim's hands and the French authorities say they are still alive.

Mali

On the night of November 24 2011, Frenchmen Serge Lazarevic and Philippe Verdon are kidnapped from their hotel in Hombori in northeastern Mali, where they were on a business trip, according to their families.

Aqim claims responsibility and publishes their photographs on December 9.

On August 10 2012, Verdon speaks of "difficult living conditions" and health problems, in a video distributed by Mauritanian website Sahara Medias.

On March 19 2013 Aqim announces that it has killed Verdon, though Paris has not confirmed the report. However, on March 28, French President Francois Hollande says that the signs are that Verdon is dead.

On November 20 2012, Gilberto Rodriguez Leal, a 61-year-old Portuguese-born French citizen, is abducted by at least six armed men in Diema, western Mali, as he is travelling by car from Mauritania.

On the 22, al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel group the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) claims responsibility.

On January 26, 2013, Mujao says it is ready to negotiate Leal's release.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault dismisses "the logic of blackmail".

Nigeria

On December 19 2012, French engineer Francis Collomp, 63, is kidnapped by around 30 armed men who attack the residence of the company for which he is working in the state of Katsina, in northern Nigeria on the border with Niger.

The hostage-takers kill two bodyguards and a neighbour.

The act is claimed by the Nigerian radical Islamist group Ansaru, which has links to extremist group Boko Haram. It says it is reacting to France's preparations for a military intervention in Mali.

Read more on:    aqim  |  mujao  |  boko haram  |  mali  |  cameroon  |  niger  |  nigeria  |  abductions

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.