First Published: 2012-09-02

 

Islamist rebels in Mali claim execution of kidnapped Algerian diplomat

 

Statement attributed to Movement of Oneness and Jihad in West Africa claims diplomat, Tahar Touati, had been executed.

 

Middle East Online

Alone in face of adverse fate

ALGIERS - The Algerian authorities said on Sunday they were checking reports that one of their diplomats kidnapped in Mali had been executed by his Islamist captors.

A statement attributed to the Movement of Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and posted on Internet sites in Algeria claimed that the diplomat, Tahar Touati, had been executed.

"The execution of the diplomat came after the expiry of an ultimatum given to the Algerian government," said the statement.

"Algerian negotiators refused to agree on a deal to release the hostages at the last minute," it added.

MUJAO kidnapped seven Algerian consular officials in the Malian city of Gao on April 5, and threatened reprisals in an August 24 statement should Algiers fail to free three jihadists it arrested in the south that month.

Among the jihadists was Necib Tayeb, also known as Abderrahmane Abou Ishak Essoufi, a senior member of Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

MUJAO gave the authorities "less than five days" to act.

Sunday's statement "is currently the focus of the necessary verification to ensure its authenticity," the Algerian foreign ministry said in a statement released by the official APS news agency.

"Contact has not been broken" with the kidnappers, it added.

MUJAO demanded the release of Islamist militants detained in Algeria and a sum of 15 million euros in May in return for freeing the Algerians, but the authorities said the group let three of them go on July 12.

A video MUJAO released on August 26 showed one of the four remaining hostages pleading with the government to save his life.

The wife of one hostage called on MUJAO to free them in a statement published by the Algerian press on Sunday, saying they were only "innocent civil servants," and urged President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to work for their release.

 

Turkish President declares 3-month state of emergency

Russian warplanes targeted US, British outpost in Syria

Libya unity govt blasts French military presence

Mali renews state of emergency after deadly attack

Syrians harness Pokemon frenzy to depict their plight

Bodies of 14 'executed' people found in Libya's Benghazi

UN to help Turkey bolster tourism sector

France to supply weapons to Iraqi army

Turkey tensions fester in Germany

Israel official on first visit to Chad in 40 years

EU condemns 'unacceptable' Turkey purges

Iran stops 'terrorist infiltration' from Turkey

Moscow restarts air travel to Turkey

Assad says Erdogan is 'implementing his own extremist agenda'

Egypt's Sisi says 'serious efforts' made in Palestine peace process

43 civilians dead as regime bombards rebel-held areas in Syria

UN pleads for weekly 48-hour truce in Syria's Aleppo

Kuwait upholds death for Iran spy cell 'mastermind'

Iran arrests 40 over 'terrorist' plots

US-backed forces give IS '48 hours' to leave Syria's Manbij

Syria activists urge protests over deadly coalition raids

Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemen negotiators

Turkey coup plotters go on trial in Greece

Erdogan critics fear what may come next

ISIS bomb kills 4 in Yemen's Aden

Outrage after Syrian rebel group beheads child

Israel parliament passes law allowing expulsion of Palestinian MPs

Europol warns 'Lone wolf' terror attacks hard to track

Turkey blocks WikiLeaks email dump on ruling party

Three French soldiers killed in Libya

Turkey's battle with PKK continues through coup drama

Saudi carries out 99 executions this year

Turkey bans academics from work trips abroad

Beijing policies pushing Chinese Muslims to join IS

Canada pledges $158 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq

French PM: There will be other attacks

Iraq PM faces challenge to replace resigning ministers

Erdogan returns to Ankara after coup

European envoys complain over Israel policy of demolitions

Presidential spokesman says 'nonsensical' to claim Erdogan orchestrated Turkey coup

Iraq officers accuse Kurdish forces of torturing soldiers

Turkish ambassador urges Greece to return coup plotters

Turkey widens post-coup purge to state education sector

ISIS releases video of Germany train attacker

Erdogan and the Army: Why Now?