Paris negotiated to free French Sahara hostage: Qaeda

1st August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The head of an Al-Qaeda-linked gang in the Sahara desert said he held negotiations with Paris about freeing a kidnapped Frenchman before the hostage was killed, in an Internet message on Sunday.

"Shame on France and its president (Nicolas Sarkozy), who launched their raids while negotiations were under way," Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) chief Abdelmalek Droukdal said, according to the message posted on jihadist websites.

The French authorities never reported that they were in negotiations for the release of the hostage, Michel Germaneau, a 78-year-old aid worker who was abducted in northern Niger on April 19.

The Al-Qaeda offshoot said on July 25 that it had executed Germaneau in revenge for the killing of six comrades in a failed Mauritanian-French rescue raid in Mali.

© 2010 AFP

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