Al Jazeera News Channel reported on Sunday that Al-Qaeda’s wing in North Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said it had killed Michel Germaneau, a French hostage in response to a raid last week by French troops against a base in the Sahara desert.
AQIM Leader Abdelmalek Droukdel said Michel Germaneau was killed on Saturday in revenge for a failed rescue raid by French and Mauritanian troops that left six AQIM members dead.
French Special Forces took part in a Mauritanian military operation against AQIM in Mali on Thursday. The French Defence Ministry said French Army gave technical and logistical support to a Mauritanian operation to prevent an attack by AQIM against Mauritania.
President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s office in Paris said it had no confirmation of the hostage’s death. Sarkozy will hold a meeting on Monday with top officials including his prime minister and interior, foreign and defence ministers.
Retired engineer Germaneau, 78, was kidnapped in April 22 and believed to be in the hands of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, Leader of one of the two AQIM factions operating in the Sahara.
Last month, the terrorist group had said it would execute him by 26 July unless some of its members were released from prisons in several North African countries.