Paris said Thursday it had widened its vigilance alert for nationals abroad from 31 to 40 countries including Asian nations, after a French hostage was beheaded in Algeria by jihadists linked to the Islamic State group.
President Francois Hollande was to convene an emergency meeting of his defence council Thursday with renewed determination to fight Islamic State extremists after the "cowardly" beheading of a French hostage in Algeria.
The North African branch of al-Qaeda
has demanded that imprisoned members of the group be released
in exchange for a French national kidnapped in Niger in April,
Al-Jazeera television reported Thursday.