Nouakchott (Mauritania): Thirty-four hostages and 14 of their al-Qaida-linked kidnappers were killed on Thursday in an air strike by the Algerian armed forces, Mauritania's news agency reported, citing one of the kidnappers holding captives at a desert gas field.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the information from the agency, which has close contact with the group which has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping.

Media reported that the spokesman for the kidnappers said they would kill the rest of their captives if the army approached.

(Agencies)

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