London: Al Qaeda has said that it has beheaded a French hostage in response to the country`s military intervention in Mali.
A French foreign office spokesman said they were trying to verify the report of the killing of Philippe Verdon.
According to Mauritania`s news agency, a spokesman for the group`s North African arm said Verdon had been beheaded on March 10.
The AQIM commander described Verdon as a French spy and said France`s President Francois Hollande `bore the responsibility for the remaining hostages," Sky News reports.
Verdon and another French man, Serge Lazarevic, were kidnapped from their hotel room on November 24, 2011, in the northern Mali town of Hombori, the report said.
Their families denied that the two men were mercenaries or secret service agents, it added.