France condemns beheading of Bulgarian hostage

15th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 15 (AFP) - France on Thursday condemned the beheading of a Bulgarian truck driver in Iraq, calling for the immediate release of a second Bulgarian hostage under threat of execution.

PARIS, July 15 (AFP) - France on Thursday condemned the beheading of a Bulgarian truck driver in Iraq, calling for the immediate release of a second Bulgarian hostage under threat of execution.  

"We strongly condemn the assassination of Georgy Lazov, a Bulgarian citizen. We are horrified by this barbaric act," said foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous.   Reiterating France's "absolute condemnation of terrorism in all its forms," Ladsous called for the release of a second Bulgarian hostage, identified as Ivailo Kepov, whose fate remained uncertain.  

The French spokesman, who also denounced an upswing in attacks across Iraq in recent days, urged the Iraqi people to "reject violence and to band together in order to ensure the success of the political transition".  

Lazov and Kepov were kidnapped near the northern Iraqi town of Mosul last Thursday by the Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) group and threatened with execution unless US troops freed Iraqi prisoners within 24 hours.  

Al-Jazeera satellite television said late Tuesday it had received video footage of the beheading of one of the two men.  

The Bulgarian government confirmed the death of one man believed to be Lazov, 30, but his identity has not been confirmed.

 

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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