UN chief slams Al-Qaeda's French hostage killing
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday slammed as a "reprehensible act" the killing of French hostage Michel Germaneau by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), saying it highlighted the need to defeat terrorism worldwide.
"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing of Michel Germaneau, a French national working on humanitarian projects in the Sahel region, a reprehensible act for which Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb has claimed responsibility," his spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement.
The UN boss views the slaying as "a strong reminder of the urgent need to defeat terrorism throughout the world and in the Sahel region in particular," Nesirky added.
Earlier Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed that his country would avenge Germaneau's murder, which followed a failed French-Mauritanian rescue bid on Thursday.
Sarkozy confirmed French soldiers had taken part in last Thursday's deadly raid into Mali, in which Mauritanian and French forces killed at least six Al-Qaeda militants but failed to find any trace of Germaneau.
The 78-year-old French aid worker had been seized in Niger where he had been building a school on April 19. On May 14, his abductors issued a photo of an exhausted-looking hostage and a taped message in which he appealed to Sarkozy to work for his release.
© 2010 AFP