Algerian army kills suspect in Frenchman's beheading

11th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Algeria announced on Thursday that soldiers have killed a second member of the Islamist Jund al-Khilifa group implicated in the September beheading of French mountain guide Herve Gourdel.

The authorities have identified the body of one of the presumed murderers, who was "killed recently by the army", Justice Minister Tayeb Louh said, without identifying the man.

Louh had already announced the death last month of another man implicated in the Frenchman's abduction and murder.

Gourdel, 55, was kidnapped in September and later beheaded by Jund al-Khilifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate), a militant organisation that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Jund al-Khilifa said it killed him in retaliation for French participation in a US-led air campaign targeting IS militants in Iraq.

The Algerian authorities are hunting 15 people thought to be involved in the abduction, and are focusing their hunt in the rugged Kabylie region east of the capital.

The fugitives, all Algerian, include Jund al-Khilifa chief Abdelmalek Gouri, 37, who is also known as Khaled Abu Souleiman.

The group was formed at the end of August after splintering from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and pledging allegiance to IS.

© 2014 AFP

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