, BAMAKO, Sep 27 – A Malian source close to negotiations with Al-Qaeda linked militants who kidnapped seven foreigners, said Sunday he had seen the hostages, who where all alive and able to stand.
"I have seen the hostages, they are all alive. They are even all able to stand up," said the source on condition of anonymity.
"Maximum discretion is needed. We are giving this information to reassure the families, but don\’t ask us any more," he said, without giving any further detail.
The five French nationals, a Togolese and a Madagascan were kidnepped by an Al-Qaeda gang in a September 16 raid on a uranium mining town in Niger and are being held in the mountains of northern Mali, President Nicolas Sarkozy\’s office said Sunday.
Paris maintains it has every reason to believe the hostages are alive and is seeking talks with the kidnappers, who have yet to convey their demands.