Terrorist outfit AL-Qaeda has demanded the release of 20 of its members in exchange for the life of six European hostages who are under its custody at present.

According to Algerian Arabic language daily El Khabar, the “Saharan Emirate”, which belongs to Al Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM), has put forward a list to a tribal chief in Mali with the names of 20 “terrorists” who are currently under arrest in Spain, Italy, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania, 

Spanish nationals Albert Vilalta, 35, Roque Pascual, 50, and Alicia Gamez, 30, were taken hostage by Al Qaeda in northern Mali a few days ago.

El Khabar quoted sources and reported that a ransom demand for the release of the Spanish hostages was unlikely at the moment, as ransom is usually demanded when negotiations are nearing the end.

El Khabar, though, added that the ransom amount will be at least $10 million.