SA hostage seen on Qaeda video

2015-06-22 23:29
Aqim hostages as seen on video. (Sahara Media)

Aqim hostages as seen on video. (Sahara Media)

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

Nouakchott - A private Mauritanian news agency said on Monday that it had obtained a video showing a South African and a Swede who were kidnapped in Mali in 2011 and are being held by Al-Qaeda.

The video obtained by the Sahara Medias website appears to show Stephen Malcolm McGown, from South Africa, and Swedish citizen Johan Gustafson in good health, a website employee told AFP.

The two men are bearded and are seen wearing traditional robes, sitting under a tree, the employee said, adding that it was not known when the video was shot.

McGown and Gustafson were abducted in the city of Timbuktu in northern Mali in November 2011 and have since been held by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Sahara Medias, which has aired videos and statements by jihadist organisations in the past, was still unable to upload the video late Monday due to blockages on file-sharing sites, the employee said.

But the website showed a screenshot of the two hostages in which they appeared in good health, saying it was consistent with the other images.

The film is said to show a sequence of shots in the desert with an English voiceover before the hostages are shown in a wood, watched over by three masked men dressed in black.

The two hostages, speaking as their kidnappers look on, call in turn for the governments of South Africa and Sweden to secure their freedom, without mentioning negotiations or demands for a ransom.

McGown and Gustafson were kidnapped along with several other Westerners by a group of armed men on the terrace of their hotel in Timbuktu.

One of the hostages, Dutchman Sjaak Rijke, was freed in April by French special forces during a desert operation near Tessalit, northern Mali.

Rijke's wife had managed to escape from the kidnappers, while a German who tried to resist them was killed.

AQIM, one of the jihadist groups that took control of Mali's vast north in 2012, claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. The militants have been largely driven from the region since January 2013 through an ongoing French military operation.

Read more on:    aqim  |  malcolm mcgown  |  mali  |  north africa

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.