7 Nov 2013

Al Qaeda claims journalists' killings

4:28 pm on 7 November 2013

The militant group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb says it killed two French journalists last week in the northern Malian town of Kidal.

Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who worked for Radio France International, were kidnapped on Saturday after interviewing a local leader in the town.

The group said in a statement that the killings were in retaliation for French and African military action in Mali.

The statement says the French and United Nations peacekeepers are committing daily crimes against the people of Mali and Muslims in the northern region, the BBC reports.

It is believed to have been sent by fighters loyal to a senior commander of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

It remains unclear whether those who shot the two journalists dead had set out to kill them or wanted to kidnap them for ransom.

The bodies of Ms Dupont and Mr Verlon have been returned to France.