Al Qaeda’s North African arm says it has executed a French hostage in Mali.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) said it beheaded Philippe Verdon in response to French intervention in Mali.
Verdon was one of two French hostages kidnapped in the northern town of Hombori in November 2011.
There are believed to be a further seven French citizens held by AQIM and its affiliates.
Mauritania’s ANI news agency reported that the AQIM commander claimed Verdon was a French spy and said Francois Hollande bore responsibility for the remaining hostages.
Since January French and Chadian troops have flushed the Islamist rebels out of the main cities and begun searching for them in small hideouts to the mountainous North.