Afghanistan - France

Bin Laden links French hostages' fate to Afghan withdrawal

Reuters

A voice attributed to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden says the release of French hostages is linked to France's withdrawal from Afghanistan. The tape was broadcast on Al-Jazeera on Friday.

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"We repeat our message," said the voice. "The release of your prisoners from the hands of our brothers is linked to the withdrawal of your soldiers from our country.

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

"The refusal of your president to withdraw from Afghanistan is the result of his tagging along after America and this refusal gives a green light to kill your prisoners ... but we will not do that at the moment that suits him."

France will pay a heavy price for President Nicolas Sarkozy's position, both inside and outside the country, the voice added.

Two French journalists, Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, and their three Afghan guides were kidnapped on 30 December 2009 60 kilometres east of Kabul.

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