The abduction of two Italian nationals Sergio Seguella and Filoman Kabore on Dec. 20 in the east of Mauritania was carried out by the Islamic Maghreb Al Qaeda group (AQMI), which claimed responsibility on Monday in a video shown on "Al- Arabiya" television, Xinhua reported.
In this video dated Dec. 27, a person calling himself "Salah Abou Mohamed who is in charge of information for AQMI," explained that this abduction was done as a revenge "for the crimes committed by the Italian government in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The video shows the kidnapped Italian couple surrounded with armed turbaned men in a desert zone, probably north of Mali.
The Ivorian driver who was kidnapped at the same time with the Italians, a man and his Italian wife of Burkinabe origin, was not featured in the video. They were intercepted on their way to Burkina Faso.
The abduction of Italian nationals came in less than one month after the kidnapping of Spanish humanitarian workers in Mauritania on Nov. 29, for which AQMI also claimed responsibility.
The security services have declared "significant progress" in talks launched in Mali to seek the release of the Italian nationals.