RFI – March 21, 2011
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) is demanding at least 90 million euros ransom for the release of four French hostages held since September, a source close to mediators indicated. The French citizens were kidnapped in September 2010 in neighbouring Niger, where France has a large stake in uranium mining, and are still being held hostage in the desert.
The kidnappers want at least 90 million euros and the release of Aqim prisoners held in several countries, including France, an anonymous source told the AFP news agency. An abortive rescue attempt resulted in the deaths of two French hostages in January. Three others, including one French citizen, were freed in February.

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