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Al-Qaeda: French Hostage Dead

Posted on 20. Mar, 2013 by in Headlines, Headlines Featured

March 20, 2013- A website based in Mauritania said that a North African arm of al-Qaeda had executed a hostage from France as retaliation for the military intervention by France in the northern part of Mali.

Al-Qaeda: French Hostage Dead

Al-Qaeda: French Hostage Dead

An official at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris said the government knows about the report and is at this time investigating. The father of the French hostage said he had not been given any information to confirm his son’s death.

The ANI or Nouakchott Information Agency website posted the news on Tuesday. The site is often used by members of al-Qaeda’s chapter in North Africa to post important messages. However, it was impossible to verify the claim that the hostage was executed.

In the area, 15 people from France are being held captive, amongst those captive is one family with seven members including four children. That family was taken hostage in February in Cameroon.

A campaign was launched by French troops in January to help the embattled government in Mali drive Islamic militants out of the northern region of the country. The military campaign raised fears that the Islamists would retaliate, especially towards the captives.

The website quoted a member of al-Qaeda, who is said to be from the Islamic Maghreb, as confirming that fighters in the group executed one of the  French hostages March 10, who was named Philippe Verdon.

Verdon was taken captive with Serge Lazarevic another man from France, from a hotel they were staying at in Mali’s eastern region in the city of Hombori in November of 2011. The two families of the hostages said the two has been looking into establishing a cement factory in the area.

Verdon’s father told reporters on Wednesday that the report on AHI does not confirm the death of his son and said his family was awaiting news from the French government. He said he would make no further comments as long as other people are still being held hostage.

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