French helicopters fired on kidnapper's vehicles: source

11th January 2011, Comments 1 comment

French combat helicopters fired on the vehicles of the kidnappers of two murdered Frenchmen in northern Mali, where the charred wreckage was found, sources told AFP.

According to a source, French commandos opened fire on the vehicles before landing. Several "burnt vehicles" were discovered at the scene of the assault against the kidnappers which took place on Saturday.

According to a Malian security source, the "final assault" took place at about fifteen kilometers (nine miles) from the Malian town Tabankor (35 km south of Menaka).

"Among the burnt vehicles there was a big 4X4 registered in Benin," said an administrative official from the north.

In Niamey, witnesses to the kidnapping which has been attributed to Al-Qaeda, said the two Frenchmen were abducted by armed gunmen wearing turbans "on board a 4X4 registered to Benin."

According to French authorities the lifeless bodies of the two hostages were discovered after the attack.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said they were "coldly eliminated" by their captors.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • sonofoblomov posted:

    on 11th January 2011, 16:49:35 - Reply

    M. Fillon's declarations should be taken with a large pinch of salt.
    African sources first said that the kidnappers' vehicles were bombed by a Breguet Atlantique, the joint Nigerien/French operation was later said to be French only, with ground forces, now it's helicopters, each statement contradicts the previous one.
    The kidnappers wore turbans, for M. Fillon this is conclusive proof that al Qaida was behind this (they probably were, even if they outsourced ; nonetheless Fillon is "probably" "coldly" making this all up as he goes along.)
    Fillon recently said that a policeman had been stoned to death in Epernay, this turned out to be untrue also.