Al-Qaeda’s North African wing on Wednesday released a video of four French hostages kidnapped in Niger last year.
It shows a series of stills of the captives showing them alongside armed men.
Pierre Legrand, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dol and Marc Furrer are now believed to be in neighbouring Mali.
In an accompanying audio recording, they each urge President Nicolas Sarkozy to pull French troops out of Afghanistan.
The French government, however, has said it will not take orders from terrorists.
“Hostage-takers do not determine French foreign policy. There are lives at stake here so I’m not going to take any chances by making any further comment,” said French Secretary of State for European Affairs Laurent Wauquiez in a television interview.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb kidnapped seven people from an uranium mining town in northern Niger last September.
The group released three hostages in February — a French woman, a Togolese national and a Madagascan.