Islamist group Ansaru says it was behind the kidnapping of a French engineer in Nigeria.
63-year-old Francis Colump was taken on December 19 when around 30 gunmen attacked his residence in the remote northern town of Rimi, near the border with Niger.
A security guard and a neighbour were killed in the assault.
Ansaru said the attack was motivated by France’s ban on the full face veil known as the niqab, as well as its support for military action in Mali.
It said it would continue to target French citizens until France changes it’s stance on these issues.
Islamist groups have controlled the north of Mali since seizing control in April.
Ansaru which is thought to have loose ties to the better known Boko Haram also claims responsibility for a dawn raid on a police station in the Nigerian capital last month in which it says hundreds of prisoners were released.