PARI(AFP) – France said Monday that a video of a kidnapped French family with their abductors, who claimed to be from Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, was a “shocking” display of the kidnappers’ cruelty.
“A video of the French family kidnapped last Tuesday in northern Cameroon has been released by Boko Haram,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement.
“For all of us, these images are terribly shocking. They display a cruelty without bounds,” Fabius said. “We are proceeding with the checks required in these circumstances. All state resources are mobilised to free our compatriots.”
The seven family members were abducted last week in northern Cameroon.
The more than three-minute video shows the family, including four children, held in an undisclosed location and surrounded by at least three of the abductors from the Nigerian group whose faces are hidden.
A source close to the family confirmed their identities to AFP. It was not clear when the video was made.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, speaking after a top-level meeting that followed the video’s release, confirmed the government had seen the clip.
France “now has the information that Boko Haram claims to be holding” the seven French citizens, Ayrault said, adding that the family is “probably held in Nigeria”.
“The video tape… is being studied by our (intelligence) services, who are examining precisely the nature of these claims,” he said. “French authorities are in close and permanent contact with Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities.”