AQIM Mujahideen warn France over invasion of Mali
14 October 2012, 02:15
The Mujahideen of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali have warned to "open the doors of hell" for French citizens if France kept pushing for armed invasion to retake the north of Mali.
"If French president continues to throw oil on the fire, we will send him the pictures of dead French hostages in the coming days," said Oumar Ould Hamaha, a spokesman for the armed group MUJWA, in apparent reference to the six French nationals still held by armed groups after being taken prisoner in the region.
"He will not be able to count the bodies of French expatriates across West Africa and elsewhere," Hamaha said by telephone.
MUJWA is among the groups which liberated the northern two-thirds of Mali in April following a coup in the capital Bamako.
Regional democratic and western powers are now considering armed invasion to retake the area, with former colonial ruler France seeking swift military action by regional bloc ECOWAS.
The UN sec council called on Friday for an invasion plan to be drawn up within 45 days.
Al-Qaeda's north African wing has warned repeatedly to kill French hostages if Paris tries to mount a military invasion of Mali.
MUJWA's Hamaha said that the armed groups in the Sahara desert were largely funded by ransom payments from France and others.
"The top country who finances the Jihad is France," he said, adding that MUJWA could try to kidnap Hollande himself.
"I wonder what the international community would say if we took the French president hostage."
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