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French aid worker executed in Africa: Sarkozy

Last Updated: Monday, July 26, 2010 - 22:22

Paris: A 78-year-old ailing French aid worker
was executed "in cold blood" by al Qaeda`s North African
branch three months after his capture, in retaliation for a
failed rescue attempt that killed six militants, President
Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.

The French leader condemned the killing of Michel
Germaneau and said the killers "will not go unpunished."

Sarkozy made the announcement after convening an urgent
meeting of key ministers and military officials at the
presidential Elysee Palace, a day after al Qaeda in the
Islamic Maghreb announced Germaneau`s execution and said
Sarkozy had "opened the doors of hell."

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or North Africa, is an
affiliate of the original al Qaeda group. It grew out of an
Islamist insurgency movement in Algeria, formally merging with
al Qaeda in 2006 and spreading its tentacles through the Sahel
region.

Amid increasing concerns about terrorism and trafficking
in northwest Africa, four countries -- Algeria, Mauritania,
Mali and Niger -- opened a joint military headquarters deep in
the desert in April. The goal has been to establish a
collective response to threats from traffickers and the
al Qaeda offshoot.

The United States is also trying to help and has provided
US-run training sessions for African troops in the area.

PTI

First Published: Monday, July 26, 2010 - 22:22
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