French hostage of Nigerian Islamists pleads for help in video
DUBAI/ABUJA (Reuters) - A French hostage kidnapped by Islamist militants in Nigeria has asked for French and Nigerian government help in securing his release in a video released by his captors, according to the SITE web monitoring service.
If the video is confirmed as authentic it would be the first visual sign of life from Mr Francis Collomp since around 30 gunmen stormed his compound on Dec 19 in the remote northern Nigerian town of Rimi, close to the Niger border where Al-Qaeda's North African wing operates.
Western governments are increasingly concerned about Islamist militants in Africa's Sahel region because of the risk it could become a platform for international jihadist attacks.
Ansaru militants said soon after Mr Collomp's abduction that he had been taken in retaliation for France's planned military action against jihadi insurgents in nearby Mali, launched a month later, and its ban on wearing the full-face veil.