French hostage in Nigeria pleads for help

Francis Collomp, who was taken in reprisal for French action in Mali, has asked for French and Nigerian government help in securing his release in a video

French hostage in Nigeria pleads for help

World Bulletin/News Desk 

A French hostage kidnapped 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 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.

Ansaru militants said soon after Collomp's abduction that he had been taken in retaliation for France's planned military action against insurgents in nearby Mali.

Collomp, 63, an engineer who was working for French renewable energy firm Vergnet, appeared in the three-minute video posted which he said was filmed on Sept. 25.

"It is urgent that my family and friends and my fellow citizens of France and anyone else that can do something. The French and the Nigerian governments should (get involved} for my sake and {pursue} negotiations for my safe release, please," Collomp, wearing a white T-shirt with an unidentified armed man stood behind him, said in the video, speaking in English.

An Arabic-language message displayed at the end of the video said, according to SITE, "If you want to repeat your crazy ways in dealing with the events with excessive violence, then we will deal with you ... Everything that happened to this French hostage is on you." The message contained no clear demands.

A spokesman for the French foreign ministry said the video was being analysed and it had informed the Collomp family.

Britain has put Ansaru on its official "terrorist group" list, saying it is aligned with al Qaeda and was behind the kidnapping of a British and a Italian who were killed last year during a failed rescue attempt.

Ansaru's full name is Jama'atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladis Sudan, which roughly translates as "Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa".

The group claimed responsibility for a dawn raid on a major police station in the Nigerian capital Abuja in November, where it said hundreds of prisoners were released.

Last Mod: 28 Eylül 2013, 13:29
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