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Video released of Mali troops held by al-Qaida-linked group

October 19, 2017

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A video has been released that reportedly shows 11 Mali soldiers being held hostage by an al-Qaida-linked extremist group.

MENASTREAM, a risk consultancy that monitors jihadist activity, showed screen grabs and analysis of the Oct. 1 video shared by the al-Qaida-linked Islam and Muslim Support Group. In it, the soldiers ask Mali’s government to find a solution for their release.

The soldiers were captured during jihadi attacks between July 2016 and March 2017.

The video could not be independently corroborated.

A Mali intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to press, said Mali’s government is discussing what can be done to free the soldiers.

Jihadist groups remain in northern Mali despite being pushed out from their strongholds by French-backed forces in 2013.

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