Video: Mali Hostages, Held Since Late 2011, Plead For Release

Two hostages kidnapped by al Qaeda militants in north Mali more than three years ago asked their governments to help secure their release in a rare video of them seen by Reuters on Monday.

The two men, from Sweden and South Africa, were seized in the desert city of Timbuktu in November 2011, weeks before secular and Islamist rebels took over Mali’s north.

A German man with them was shot dead during the capture while a Dutch hostage was discovered by chance and freed during a raid by French commandos in April 2015.

The nearly 19-minute video, entitled “A trip to interview two prisoners,” could not be independently verified by Reuters, although it bore the stamp of al-Andalus, which claims to be the media arm of al Qaeda in north Africa (AQMI). It was posted on Youtube and on a Mauritanian website called Sahara Medias, which has a history of releasing statements by Islamist groups.