• Australian surgeon Kenneth Arthur Elliot has appeared in a terror hostage video
• The 82-year-old was seen wearing a pink shirt and brown headscarf
• He appeared with five other hostages in the video shared online on Saturday
• It was released by Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen ahead of French presidential visit to Mali
An al-Qaeda-linked group in Mali has released a proof-of-life video showing six foreign hostages, including one Australian.
The SITE Intelligence Group, who monitor jihadist communications, reported the existence of the video from the recently formed Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen shortly before the French president’s arrival in the West African country for an anti-terror summit on Saturday.
The video shows Stephen McGowan of South Africa, Kenneth Arthur Elliot of Australia, Iulian Ghergut of Romania, Beatrice Stockly of Switzerland, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez of Colombia and Sophie Petronin of France.
Mr Arthur, a surgeon, is 82. In the video he appears with a thick white beard, wearing a pink top and a brown headscarf.
He was first captured with his wife Jocelyn in January last year, though his wife was released a month later.
The 82-year-old surgeon was seen in a brown headscarf and pink shirt in the video
Dr Elliot and his wife travelled to West Africa in 1972 and built the only hospital in Djibo ‘from scratch’ and had worked there together before they were both captured.
A number of the hostages have been held for years – with the February capture of Ms Narvaez – a nun- near the border of Burkina Faso being the most recent.
Of the six shown in the video, McGowan was the earliest seized, abducted in 2011 from a hostel in Timbuktu.
‘No genuine negotiations have begun to rescue your children,’ a narrator says in the clip.
The narrator also mentions the recently elected French
President Emmanuel Macron, saying that Petronin ‘is hoping that the new French president will come to her rescue.’
Macron meets Sunday in Mali with heads of state from five nations across Africa’s Sahel region to build support for a new 5,000-strong multinational force meant to counter extremists there. Deadly attacks in recent years in countries once considered relatively safe have alarmed the international community.
In March, a video announced the creation of Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen from a merger of three extremist groups: the al-Qaida-linked al-Mourabitoun, Ansar Dine and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen claimed responsibility for last month’s attack on a resort area popular with foreigners outside Mali’s capital that killed at least five people.
The video comes after Sweden’s government on Monday announced the release of Johan Gustafsson, who was held by Islamic extremists in Mali for six years.
Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen – the group holding Dr Elliot – claimed responsibility for last month’s attack on a resort area popular with foreigners outside Mali’s capital that killed at least five people
Kidnapped Australian surgeon, 82, is one of six hostages shown in ‘proof of life’ video released by al-Qaeda-linked group in Mali as French president visits country