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Al Qaida group 'holding Briton'

A video showing a kidnapped Briton and an Italian being held by armed men apparently from an al Qaida group is being investigated by the Foreign Office.

The pair were kidnapped from northern Nigeria nearly three months ago.

The video, distributed by the French news agency AFP, shows the two men kneeling in front of three masked men carrying machine guns. The men ask authorities to comply with their kidnappers' demands.

The video's authenticity could not be immediately confirmed.

AFP said it received it at its bureau in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The UK Foreign Office released a statement today saying it was investigating the video.

Police said the two men were kidnapped on May 12 from an apartment in Kebbi state, which borders Niger. Such kidnappings are rare in northern Nigeria.

Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb was involved in a January kidnapping involving foreigners in Niger.

AFP blurred the faces of the two hostages, though one could be seen wearing a Manchester United football shirt.

The Foreign Office said it remains in close contact with Nigerian and Italian authorities. "We are working to secure the hostages' safe and swift release," the statement read. "We ask those holding the two men to show compassion and release them, enabling them to rejoin their families."


From Belfast Telegraph