The media unit of al-Qaeda’s Mali affiliate has released a proof-of –life video with six foreign hostages, among them Australian Arthur Kenneth Elliott, aged 82, Frenchwoman Sophie Pétronin and Romanian Iulian Ghergut, the SITE US centre for monitoring the Jihadist websites has announced on Sunday, according to AFP.
The video footage lasts 16 minutes and 50 seconds, was posted on Saturday by Telegram message by the Support Group of Islam and Muslims, a Jihadist group.
Iulian Ghergut was kidnapped in April 2015 in Burkina Faso, he was working as security agent in Tambao mine, near the border with Niger and Mali.
The other hostages are South-African Stephen McGown, Swiss missionary Béatrice Stockly, kidnapped in January 2016 by al-Qaeda and the Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, kidnapped in 2017 in Mali.
Surgeon Arthur Kenneth Elliott and his wife Jocelyn Elliott were kidnapped in Burkina Faso in January 2015. Jocelyn Elliott was released in February 2016.
The hostages are showed separately in the video footage, presented by a man claiming there have been no negotiations so far for their release. At the end of the video footage, without requesting anything, the man tells the hostages’ families no negotiations have taken place so far, adding that discussions are currently underway.
The previous footage showed Romanian Iulian Ghergut having beard, speaking in French and mentioning the video was shot on September 21, 2016. The message was addressed to his family and to the Romanian government, calling for help. Ghergut said he was in good health and he thinks about his family.
Iulian Ghergut was kidnapped on April 4, 2015 in Burkina Faso by the al-Mourabitoune terrorist group. The video was also made public by SITE, a US centre for monitoring the Jihadist websites.
The first video footage, lasting less than a minute, was released after the Romanian’s kidnapping on April 4, 2015 near manganese mine in Tambao.
Al-Mourabitoune terrorist group released a video recording in August 2015 with Romanian hostage Iulian Ghergut, a security guard abducted in northern Burkina Faso on April 4, calling for the authorities to negotiate with the kidnappers for his release.
File photo source: SITE