Germany blamed for hostage deaths

Cairo - An al-Qaeda-affiliated group in North Africa on Tuesday blamed the German government for the death of a hostage in a rescue attempt in Nigeria, and warned Europe against its “foolish” method in dealing with hostage issues.

Edgar Fitz Raupach was killed on May 31 in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, four months after he was kidnapped.

We say to the family of the German citizen Raupach, that the blood of your son hangs from the neck of your government,” al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in a statement published on Islamist websites.

The group said Berlin had given Nigeria the “green light” for the military operation “while the mujahideen were keen to settle the issue peacefully if their demands were met.”

“We say to the governments of Europe that their foolish methods in dealing with hostage files has proved to be a failure and led in all cases to the death of hostages and many military personnel while serious negotiation has been a success and led to the release of hostages,” the group added.

In March, a British and an Italian hostages held in Nigeria were killed during a joint Nigerian-British rescue mission after 10 months in captivity. - Sapa-dpa