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Algerian hostage of Mali Islamists appeals for help: video

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An Algerian hostage held by an Islamist militant group in lawless northern Mali has called on his country to save his life, according to a video seen by AFP on Sunday.

The video was handed to AFP by an intermediary of the militant group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which is holding the Algerian man captive.

“I ask Algerian authorities to find a solution to save my life,” he said in Arabic, reading from a text. The man was identified by an AFP journalist as an employee from the Algerian consulate in Mali’s northern city of Gao.

In the video, he is seen with cropped hair and a beard, in traditional dress, seated before a black drape with a drawing depicting a sword.

He added in the video that “countries like Mauritania (and) France have negotiated in the past to get their hostages freed and Algeria should just do the same thing.”

MUJAO, an ally of Al-Qaeda’s north African branch AQMI and armed Islamists Ansar Dine, had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping carried out on April 5 of seven Algerians from the north African country’s consulate in Gao.

In May, MUJAO demanded the release of Islamist fighters imprisoned in Algeria and a sum of 15 million euros in exchange for the seven captives.

On July 12, it said it had freed three out of seven hostages and repeated its conditions for the release of the other captives.