Dubai: Al Qaeda has warned Paris not to attempt to rescue five French nationals kidnapped by the jihadists in Niger, SITE monitoring group said on Thursday, as France mobilised its forces to find them.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb posted a statement on jihadist forums in which it said the kidnappings came in the "context of retaliation" promised by AQIM leader Abu Musab Abdul Wadud to France, the US-based group said.
SITE said the statement carried a warning to France that they should not attempt another rescue mission "like they had done for Michel Germaneau”.
AQIM militants have made increasing threats against France and its citizens since a deadly Sahara raid in a bid to rescue French hostage Michel Germaneau in which seven of its members were killed.
The group said it had executed the 78-year-old as a reprisal for the raid, vowing further revenge against France.
Gunmen seized the five French nationals along with a Togolese and a Madagascan in Niger on September 16 in a raid on French firms working in northern Niger`s uranium fields, and are now thought to have taken the captives to a remote corner of Mali.