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French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault confirmed Monday that Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a French family, following the release of a video from the abductors.
France "now has the information that Boko Haram claims to be holding" the seven French citizens kidnapped last week in Cameroon, Ayrault said after a top-level meeting following the release of the video on YouTube.
Ayrault said the family is "probably held in Nigeria".
"The video tape... is being studied by our (intelligence) services, who are examining precisely the nature of these claims," he said. "French authorities are in close and permanent contact with Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities."
The more than three-minute video shows the family, including four children, held in an undisclosed location, surrounded by at least three of the abductors from the Nigerian group whose faces are hidden.
A source close to the family confirmed their identities to AFP. It was not clear when the video was made.