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By Godfrey Olukya 21-9-2012
The north Africa Al-Qaeda’s branch has threatened to kill French hostages it kidnapped in Niger two years ago.

They say they are to do so because France is backing plans for an invasion of Islamist-held northern Mali.

For the first time Al-Qaeda also directly addressed the families of the four hostages, employees of French nuclear group Areva and its subsidiary Satom. They reportedly told members of the hostages families that it was France which was making their relatives suffer because it refused to negotiate with them.

In a message on Mauritanian website Sahara Medias, Al-Qaeda said, ‘Crazy initiative will not only lead to the deaths of the hostages but drown the whole of France in the marshes of Azawad.’

Azawad is another name for northern Mali. It threatened that France and its people would be in great danger if her government pushed plans to invade Azawad.

North Mali fell in hands of Islamist in March 2012. As west African countries plan to liberate north Mali from Al-Qaeda supported groups, France allegedly promised to provide logistical support to the operation.

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