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France's Sarkozy Confirms Al Qaeda Hostage Dead - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed on Monday that a 78-year-old French hostage held by Al Qaeda’s North African wing was dead and urged French citizens to avoid travel to the Sahel region.

In a live television broadcast, Sarkozy said French commandoes, acting with Mauritanian troops, had tried to rescue Michel Germaneau, a retired engineer kidnapped by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on April 20 in Niger, but had not found him at a desert camp in Mali when they engaged the group.

“I condemn this barbarous act, this odious act, which has just left an innocent victim,” the president said. “Far from weakening our determination, his death must reinforce it.”

A leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in an audio recording aired by the Arabic-language satellite news station on Sunday that Germaneau was killed on Saturday in revenge for the killing of six group members in the raid.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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