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French government condemns murder of two journalists in Mali as "cold blooded assassination"

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French government condemns murder of two journalists in Mali as "cold blooded assassination"

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France’s foreign minister has condemned the murder of two French journalists in Mali as “cold blooded assasination” by “terrorists”

Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Dupont who worked for the radio station RFI were abducted after interviewing the head of the MNLA Tuareg separatist group in northern Mali.

“It’s a crime against people who were assassinated in cold blood, in odious conditions, but it’s also a crime against the freedom to inform and be informed” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told a news conference in Paris.

The journalists’ bodies were found outside the town of Kidal in northern Mali by a French patrol. One had been shot twice and the other three times.

Although no-one has claimed responsibility for their deaths, they are being blamed on extremists.

Malian Minister of Defence, Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga said: “There is a radical branch, which has no clear demand, and is trying to hinder this process. This is why we decided that it was important that the international community send a clear and firm signal to this group.”

The secular MNLA rebels staged an uprising in northen Mali last year based in Kidal. It led to a coup in the capital Bamako and occupation in the north by al-Qaeda linked rebels.

A French-led military intervention pushed back militants, but there are still pockets of insurgents.