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Old 22 Apr 2009
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Mali - Hostages released

Canadian, European al Qaeda hostages freed - Mali
Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:46pm
BAMAKO, April 22 (Reuters) - Two Canadian diplomats and two European tourists held hostage by al Qaeda's north African wing have been released, a spokesman for Mali's president said on Wednesday.

"We confirm the release of four hostages," Seydou Cissouma, a spokesman for Mali's president, told Reuters. He said they were two Canadian diplomats and two female tourists.

Robert Fowler, a United Nations envoy to Niger, disappeared with his aide last December while two Swiss, a German and a Briton were kidnapped on the Mali-Niger border in January. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Editing by David Lewis)
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Old 23 Apr 2009
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Hostage Release

Al hamdu Lillah

This is good news and I hope reasoning bodes well for future travel safety
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Old 26 Apr 2009
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release of diplomats kidnapped in Niger may help peace talk

I understand that Robert Fowler, his aide and their driver were kidnapped 40 km north-east of Niamey, that is in Niger and not quite on the border with Mali.

The Front For Forces of Redress, a Tuareg rebel group, had initially claimed responsibility for the abductions, although they later retracted that statement. Then in February the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (known by the French acronym AQMI) claimed that they were holding the six foreigners -the Canadian diplomats, two Swiss, a German and a Briton.

President of Niger Mamadou Tandja has been pointing in the direction of the Tuareg rebels even after the al-Qaeda statement was made. Hopefully the release of the Canadians will help ease the tension in the rebels-government relations in Niger - apparently some kind of peace talk is going on between them.

Representatives of Niger government met with with the the fellas from MNJ (Movement des Nigeriens pour la Justice, a major rebel group) in Libya on Apr 6 to start the peace negotiations. Source - the web site of MNJ, Mouvement des Nigeriens pour la Justice

Which gives us all hope that the war in the north of Niger ends soon and that we will be able to return to that beautiful desert country.
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Old 27 Apr 2009
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not over yet for the other two

Al-Qaeda: We'll kill hostage: Africa: News: News24

Al-Qaeda: We'll kill hostage
26/04/2009 20:05 - (SA)

Dubai - Al-Qaeda's North African branch has threatened to execute a captive Briton if the British government does not release a Muslim cleric within 20 days, an internet website reported on Sunday.

The threat to kill the Briton comes in a statement by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb posted on jihadist forums on April 26, said SITE, a US group which monitors Islamist websites.

The al-Qaeda group is seeking freedom for Islamist cleric Abu Qatada, currently held in a British prison.

"We declare that the organisation still holds a British and a Swiss tourist until the achievement of our legitimate demands," SITE quoted the al-Qaeda statement as saying.

The statement did not set out the terms for the Swiss tourist's release.

Separate incidents

Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was reported on Saturday as saying his country is doing all it can to free two remaining hostages out of six kidnapped by Islamic extremists in the Sahel region in separate incidents in December and January.

Two Canadian diplomats and two European women tourists were released on Wednesday and flown to the Malian capital Bamako, but Swiss Gabriella Greitner's husband Werner and a Briton, who has not been identified, are still being held.

The remote Sahel region borders half-a-dozen countries and illegal activities are rampant.

Abu Qatada, whose real name is Omar Mahmud Mohammed Othman, was formerly regarded as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe. He is fighting a deportation order to Jordan, saying he risks being tortured in his home country.

He has had political asylum in Britain since 1993 and is wanted in Jordan for funding a terrorist network known as Reform and Challenge (Al-Islah Wal Tahhadi) which was dismantled in 1999.


a bit more here: Al-Qaida group demands release of Abu Qatada or British hostage will be killed | World news | The Guardian
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Last edited by Chris Scott; 27 Apr 2009 at 21:45.
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Old 27 Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by tony johnston View Post
Al hamdu Lillah

This is good news and I hope reasoning bodes well for future travel safety
In sha alla
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Old 1 May 2009
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The Mali military have captured 4 AQ-M insurgents near the Algerian-Mali border. The insurgents are said to be from Algeria, Ghana, Mali and Mauritania.

More here:

Mali arrests 4 Qaeda members: Africa: News: News24
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Old 5 May 2009
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Alg-Mali military co-operation

Algeria and Mali are starting to co-operate more closely. Five plane loads of kit are heading to Mali from Algeria as starters.
More here:

News - Africa: Algeria strenghtens military ties with Mali
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