French family 'kidnapped by Boko Haram' - video

Footage shows captors threatening to murder family of seven, including four children

LAST UPDATED AT 13:25 ON Tue 26 Feb 2013

A FRENCH family of seven, including four children, have been captured by Islamists in west Africa who are threatening to murder them if their demands are not met, according to a video released last night.

The Moulin-Fournier family, who live in Cameroon's capital Yaounde, were kidnapped by gunmen on motorbikes a week ago after a visit to the Waza National Park near the Nigerian border.

Sources identified father Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, an executive in gas company GDF Suez, his four children, aged five, eight, ten and 12, his wife and brother from footage uploaded to YouTube, according to the BBC.

In the video, which has since been removed from the Google-owned site, a man claiming to be from the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram reads a statement in Arabic, asking for the release of militants being held in Nigeria and Cameroon in return for the lives of the Moulin-Fourniers.

"The President of France has launched a war on Islam and we are fighting it everywhere," says the captor. "Implement our demands. If you leave out even one, we will kill these people".

French nationals have been advised to leave Cameroon "as quickly as possible" in the wake of the kidnapping.

France's Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, told journalists they were examining the footage to see if it was authentic. Sheikh Abu Muhammad Ibn Abdulazeez, a Boko Haram spokesman, denied involvement in the family's abduction at the weekend - but a splinter cell could be responsible.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read next

A worker cleans debris from the Fun Town pier that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy last October
Week in pictures: 17-23 February