A man believed to be Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has demanded France pull its troops out of Afghanistan, warning the country of a "high price" for its policies, in an audio message broadcast by Al-Jazeera on Friday.
"We repeat our message," bin Laden said. "The release of your prisoners from the hands of our brothers is linked to the withdrawal of your soldiers from our country."
At least seven French hostages - five in the Sahara Desert and two in Afghanistan - are being held by extremist groups associated with Al Qaeda.
Addressing the French people, bin Laden said that the refusal of President Nicolas Sarkozy to withdraw from Afghanistan "is the result of his obedience to America" and that it "is a green light to kill your prisoners."
Sarkozy's position will "cost him and you a high price on different fronts, inside and outside France," he said.
DUBAI, January 21 (RIA Novosti)