France Checking Authenticity of al-Qaeda Video, AFP Says

France is working to check the authenticity of a video by the leader of an al-Qaeda African group demanding the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan, Agence France-Presse said, citing foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.

Abdelmalek Droukdel, head of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, made the demand, which he tied to the safety of five French hostages believed to be in Mali, in a video aired by Al Jazeera television yesterday, AFP said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at; Edward Evans at

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