Al-Qaeda says French hostage killed in Mali in response to French intervention
NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) - A French hostage has been executed in Mali, a man claiming to be a spokesman for Al-Qaeda in North Africa told Mauritania's ANI news agency late on Tuesday.
A French foreign office spokesman said Paris was trying to verify the report of the killing of Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped in November 2011, adding that "we don't know at the moment" whether it was reliable.
The private Mauritanian news agency reported that someone calling himself Al-Qairawani and claiming to be a spokesman for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group told them that the "spy" Verdon had been executed "on March 10 in response to France's intervention in Northern Mali."
"The French President (Francois) Hollande is responsible for the lives of the other French hostages," he warned.