Body of al-Qaeda hostage in Mali identified as French geologist

The office of the French president confirmed that a body found in Mali was that of French geologist Philippe Verdon, kidnapped by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) in the town of Hombori in November of 2011.

AQIM claims that the murder was carried out in retaliation for France’s intervention in Mali.

French President François Hollande expressed his condolences on Monday:”I express my total solidarity to his family and loved ones…I share the indignation of the French people and I reiterate that those responsible for his death must be identified and brought to justice.”

Eight other European hostages, including five French nationals kidnapped in a mining town in Niger, are still being held by AQIM militants in Mali.

Sources: BBC; France 24; Euronews

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