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IS-linked group claims French tourist’s abduction in Algeria

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Algiers, Sep 23 :

An Algerian armed group linked to the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist militants Monday claimed responsibility for the abduction of a French tourist in Algeria, according to a video posted on internet by the group.

 Herve Goutard
Herve Goutard

Earlier in the day, the French foreign ministry confirmed that its national was kidnapped in Algeria’s Tizi Ouzou region Sunday after he had gone on holiday there, Xinhua reported.

The video shows the kidnapped French tourist surrounded by two armed and masked men. The masked man asked French President Francois Hollande to officially halt military intervention in Iraq within the forthcoming 24 hours, otherwise the French hostage would be beheaded.

The armed man presented himself as the spokesman of Abu Mohamad al-Adnani, leader of a group named Jound al-Khilafa (the Caliphate Soldiers), based in Algeria.

He said the members of his group are followers of IS and they kidnapped the French citizen in response to the call of IS chief, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, to target westerners, including French, in retaliation to the US-led military campaign against IS positions in Iraq.

The French hostage also speaks in the video. He introduces himself as Herve Goutard, 50, and begs French President to do what he can to save his life.

Also Monday, the IS group called on its followers to attack Americans and French citizens after Washington and Paris launched air strikes and destroyed the group’s targets in Iraq.

In a response to the threat, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve stressed that France was not afraid as it is prepared to confront such threats.

(IANS)