Hostage update: anti-Qaida strike postponed
Algeria’s El Khabar reports that the Sahel countries* are “temporarily” postponing their offensive against al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for two weeks. The reason is said to be that unnamed European countries have pressured Algiers to wait until they can get the remaining two AQIM hostages (from the UK & Switzerland) released.
This supposed to happen “within weeks”, and hopefully no later than July, after negotiations with the AQIM group of Yahia Djouadi (Abu Ammar) have “made great progress without substantial concessions to the group holding them”. The negotiations are said to involve tribal mediators and “Salafists from Europe”. Worth recalling, then, that AQIM had demanded the release of Abu Qatada al-Filastini from British jails.
*) Algeria, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Oh, and who’s missing?