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Proof of life - al Qaeda issues video of hostages held in Sahara

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By Euronews
Proof of life - al Qaeda issues video of hostages held in Sahara

<p>Al Qaeda’s north African arm <a href="http://www.cfr.org/terrorist-organizations-and-networks/al-qaeda-islamic-maghreb-aqim/p12717">(<span class="caps">AQMI</span>)</a> has issued a video of two hostages they are holding.</p> <p>Frenchman Serge Lazarevic, has been held in the Sahara for almost three years since being kidnapped in Mali.</p> <p>In the video he says he is ill and calls on the French government to do everything it can to gain his release.</p> <p>A spokesman in President Hollande’s office said the video was the first proof of life for a long time. The last was in June. Another Frenchman kidnapped along side Lazarevic, Philippe Verdon was killed by his captors in northern Mali.</p> <p>Dutchman Sjaak Rijke also appears in the video. He was abducted from a restaurant in Timbuktu in November 2011 and is thought to have been held in the Sahara ever since.</p> <p>France is leading an initiative to track down Islamist fighters since it launched an intervention against al Qaeda -linked militants in its former colony Mali last year.</p>