Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Al-Qaeda warns Hollande against French hostage rescue

Published on Oct 20, 2012 11:24 PM

NOUAKCHOTT (REUTERS) - A leader of Al-Qaeda's north African wing warned France on Saturday that any attempt to forcibly rescue six French citizens held hostage by the militant group could lead to their death.

French President Francois Hollande is pushing hard for military action against Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali to quash what he sees as a growing risk of them launching an attack on French soil, diplomatic sources said earlier this week.

Mr Yahya Abu Hammam, speaking for the first time since he was made head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) earlier this month, said Mr Hollande had been ratcheting up rhetoric against the group.

"He has promised his people that he will free the hostages without negotiations with the jihadists," Mr Hammam said in an interview published by the Mauritanian news agency ANI.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!