From Agence France Presse:
Niger's Tuareg rebels handed two civilian hostages requiring medical treatment over to a Red Cross mission visiting their prisoners, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Saturday.
The ICRC said the mission to northern Niger between January 26 and February 1 had seen 33 prisoners, mainly members of government forces, who had been able to talk to their families by satellite telephone or write them messages.
They had also been given medical aid, blankets, clothing and other supplies.
But only two people, who needed urgent medical care, had left with the mission, the ICRC said, without specifying if they were civilian or military.
They had been taken to the town of Arlit where they were handed over to government authorities.
Also, government officials admitted that the Tuareg rebels, the Movement of Nigeriens for Justice, had recently captured two other civilians, including a teacher and an Imam. The recent abductions come after a 21 January attack on Tanhout when the group kidnapped a regional governor and four soldiers, in a move that Amnesty International claims breaks international law against involving civilians in military disputes.
The MNJ said on its website that the group would treat the prisoners “well.”