Mali Al-Qaeda linked terrorist group, Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, released a proof of life video showing that 6 foreign national hostages they held were still alive. These six included a Colombian Nun, Swiss missionary, Australian Surgeon, South African National, French national, and Romanian Mineworker. Three of these six hostages were in the country working with Christian organization to aid the poor and needy of the Country. Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen emerged in March as a coalition between Ansar Dine, al-Qaeda-linked al-Mourabitoun, and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. This has led to increased terrorist attacks and activity in this region.
07/14/2017 Mali (DailyMail) – Al-Qaeda’s Mali branch has released a proof-of-life video of six foreign hostages, including elderly Australian surgeon Arthur Kenneth Elliott and Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin, US-based monitoring group SITE said.
The 16 minute, 50 second video by Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, also known as the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, was released on Telegram on Saturday, SITE said.
The other four hostages shown are South African Stephen McGown, Romanian Iulian Ghergut, Swiss missionary Beatrice Stockly and Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti.
No group had previously claimed responsibility for kidnapping Petronin, who was abducted in late 2016 by armed men in Gao in northern Mali where she ran an organisation for malnourished children.
After the video clip showing Petronin, the narrator said she was hoping the French president would help return her to her family, SITE said.
The video was released just before President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Mali to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force.
In the video, the hostages are separately introduced by a narrator, who says that so far there have been no negotiations for their release