Al Qaeda group AQIM says killed French hostage seized in Mali

NOUAKCHOTT Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:36pm EDT

French nationals Philippe Verdon and Serge Lazarevic, who are being held hostage by Al Qaeda, are seen surrounded by masked men holding guns in an undisclosed location in Mali, in this undated handout picture. REUTERS/Agence Nouakchott Informations/Handout

French nationals Philippe Verdon and Serge Lazarevic, who are being held hostage by Al Qaeda, are seen surrounded by masked men holding guns in an undisclosed location in Mali, in this undated handout picture.

Credit: Reuters/Agence Nouakchott Informations/Handout

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NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's North African wing AQIM said it had killed a French hostage captured in northern Mali two years ago and that its other French captives were at risk because of France's intervention there, Mauritania's ANI news agency said on Sunday.

"All the other hostages are alive," AQIM said in a communique seemingly addressed to the French people and quoted by ANI, which often receives AQIM statements. "But we cannot guarantee their survival forever because of the attacks by your army on the mujahedeen's bases."

ANI reported earlier this week that an AQIM member said its fighters beheaded Philippe Verdon, who was seized in northern Mali in November 2011, on March 10.

(Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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