|An image grab taken from a handout video released on August 10, 2012 by the online news agency Sahara Media, shows French hostage Philippe Verdon who was kidnapped in Hombori, northeastern Mali, in November 2011, by the North African Al-Qaida. AFP PHOTO / SAHARA MEDIA
DAKAR - Al-Qaida’s North African arm said it had beheaded a French hostage in retaliation for France’s intervention in Mali, Mauritania’s ANI news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a spokesman for the group.
In what ANI reported was a telephone call to the agency, which has close links to Islamist militants, the spokesman said Philippe Verdon had been beheaded on March 10 “in response to the French military intervention in the north of Mali”, ANI reported.
Verdon was one of two French hostages kidnapped in the northern Mali town of Hombori in November 2011. The French foreign ministry declined to comment.