Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

French hostage 'killed in revenge'

A Mauritanian-based website said al Qaida's North African branch has executed Philippe Verdon (AP)

A French hostage has been killed in retaliation for France's military intervention in northern Mali, a website based in Mauritania has claimed.

It claimed that al Qaida's North African branch had killed Philippe Verdon on March 10.

He was kidnapped with another Frenchman from their hotel room in eastern Mali in November 2011.

The Noukachott Information Agency, or ANI, posted the report late on Tuesday.

The ANI website is frequently used by al Qaida's North African chapter to post messages. It was not possible independently to verify the claim.

ANI quoted a man who identified himself as Ghairawani, a spokesman for al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, as saying the group's fighters had killed Mr Verdon.

French troops launched a campaign in January to help the country's embattled government drive Islamic militants out of northern Mali.

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