Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Africa

Al Qaeda-linked group claims murder of journalists

© Photo: RFI

Video by Laurent Prieur

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-07

Mauritanian news agency Sahara Medias said Wednesday that it has received a message from Al Qaeda-linked militant group AQIM claiming responsibility for the murder of RFI journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, killed in Mali on Saturday.

Al Qaeda-linked militant group AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) has claimed responsibility for the murder of two French journalists killed in Mali on Saturday, according to Mauritanian news agency Sahara Medias.

Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who worked for FRANCE 24’s sister station Radio France Internationale (RFI), were found dead 12 km outside of Kidal in northern Mali just hours after being kidnapped by gunmen.

Sahara Medias, which is often sent statements by Islamist militants in Mali, said it received the claim in an email from fighters loyal to Abdelkrim al-Targui, a senior commander in the region.

“This operation was a response to crimes committed by France against Malians and the work of African and international forces against the Muslims of Azawad,” the email said.

France launched a major ground and air military operation in Mali in January aimed at reclaiming territory seized by Islamist militants and Tuareg separatists in the north of the country.

The AQIM statement added that the killings were "the minimum debt" owed by the French people and President François Hollande "in return for their new crusade".

‘Malian commander led attack’

Sahara Medias said the murders had been carried out by a unit led by Targui, one of the few Malian nationals who has risen to prominence inside the al Qaeda branch, led almost exclusively by Algerian jihadists.

Targui is a native of the Kidal region and is believed to be responsible for the previous kidnappings of two French nationals, Philippe Verdon and Serge Lazarevic, who were grabbed from the town of Hombori in northern Mali in 2011. Lazarevic remains in captivity. Verdon was executed earlier this year.

AQIM grew out of a movement launched in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists who sought the overthrow of the Algerian government and to replace it with Islamic rule.

The organisation linked up with al Qaeda in 2006 and has spun a tight network across tribes, clans, family and business lines that stretches across the vast Sahel region abutting the southern Sahara desert.

France, meanwhile, said on Tuesday it had sent seven investigators, including intelligence and police officials, to Mali to assist in the hunt for Dupont and Verlon’s killers.

A member of the Malian security forces said that "at least 35" suspects had so far been arrested in connection with the murders, while a local government source in Kidal put the figure at "a few dozen".

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-11-06

  • FRANCE - MALI

    RFI honours colleagues as slain journalists come home

    Read more

  • MALI

    Suspects questioned over murder of RFI journalists

    Read more

  • MALI

    Two French radio journalists killed in northern Mali

    Read more

COMMENT(S)