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Friday, 21 December 2012

Al-Qaeda accused of Masterminding Kidnap of French National in Northern Nigeria

Al-Qaeda, or an allied group, was probably behind the kidnapping of a French engineer in Nigeria's North Western State of Katsina, French President Francois Hollande has said.

Nigerian Police said a group of about 30 gunmen snatched the Frenchman from a heavily guarded compound in the Northern state.

The attack occurred in Katsina state, which shares a border with Niger, where al-Qaeda's North African wing is known to operate.

Nigeria's Islamist militant group, Boko Haram has not carried out many attacks in Katsina.

Boko Haram, which is fighting to impose Islamic law in Nigeria, has killed some 3,000 people in numerous attacks across northern Nigeria since 2010, human rights groups say.

There are however no known case of kidnappings carried out by the sect.

French President Hollande told Europe 1 radio in France that the kidnappers were "probably linked to AQIM [Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] or the groups which are today in Mali".

Islamist groups which are linked to al-Qaeda seized control of the whole of northern Mali in April.

"We have to be firm when it comes to terrorism, while at the same time maintaining contacts to free" French nationals, Mr Hollande said.

Groups linked to AQIM are also believed to be holding several other French nationals kidnapped in Niger and Mali.

Culled from the BBC

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