In an audio recording released on Friday, Osama bin Laden warned the French government that if its troops do not leave Afghanistan, French hostages being held in Niger will die. The voice was confirmed by several outlets—including Reuters, the Associated Press and AFP—to be that of bin Laden; it was first played on Al-Jazeera television. Five French hostages are still in Niger after the al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped them last September. This is the second tape al Qaeda has released regarding the French hostages in Niger. France's government said it will not cede to bin Laden's threats.