British authorities said today that it has started investigating a video in which al-Qaeda group claims to be holding its citizen and an Italian kidnapped in northern Nigerian state of Kebbi in May.
French news agency AFP said Wednesday its office in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire received a one-minute video which showed the two being held hostage by supposed members of the terrorist organisation at an undisclosed location.
In the blurred image of the video, the two were kneeling in front of three men in mask with heavy machine guns and Kalashnikov rifles, pleading for authorities to fulfil the request of their hostage takers.
They also said in the video that their kidnappers are members of the al-Qaeda. PTI could not verify the genuineness of the images in the video but the British foreign office in a statement said it is working to secure the hostage release and remains in contact with Nigerian and Italian authorities.
"We are working to secure the hostages' safe and swift release...We ask those holding the two men to show compassion and release them, enabling them to re-join their families," Britain said. In mid-May, the two construction workers, a Briton and an Italian, were kidnapped in Kebbi, located near the border of Niger and Benin Republics.
Police commissioner for Kebbi State, Adamu Hassan had said the two, who work for a firm owned by Italians, B. Stabilini, were taken away by a group of gunmen from their residence in Birnin Kebbi while a Nigerian engineer was shot for putting up resistance.
A German, who works for the same company, escaped by jumping over a fence. The country lies at the border of Niger where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had kidnapped four French workers demanding USD 130 million. Fear of al-Qaeda spread to northern Nigeria due to the constant killing and bombing by members of an Islamic sect called Boko Haram, which claims to be fighting for the installation of Sharia system of government in Nigeria.