Osama bin Laden
A video grab from an undated footage from the Internet shows Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden making statements from an unknown location. REUTERS

Osama bin Laden warned France on Friday that the country should leave Afghanistan if it wanted to see its captive nationals alive, in a televised audio-recording.

The tape, first broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, demanded that France remove all forces from the Middle Eastern State or suffer the consequences.

President (Nicolas) Sarkozy's refusal to remove his forces from Afghanistan is nothing but a green light for killing the French hostages, Bin Laden said in the Al-Jazeera broadcast.

We repeat the same message to you: The release of your prisoners in the hands of our brothers is linked to the withdrawal of your soldiers from our country.

The voice on the tape was confirmed as belonging to Bin Laden by several media agencies.

This is the second tape that the al Qaeda leader has released regarding the French hostage situation. Five French hostages and seven foreigners are being held in Niger after being kidnapped by Al Qaeda in September.

French authorities said that they would not cede to bin Laden's threats, AFP reported.

France has 3,750 troops in Afghanistan.