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.

 

Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

3,800 Syrian civilians killed by Russian strikes in one year

World leaders attend Shimon Peres’ funeral

UN warns 100,000 people trapped in South Sudan town

Bulgaria approves full-face Islamic veil ban

Israel pays Turkey $20 million compensation for Gaza flotilla raid

Egypt MP suggests university virginity tests

Morocco to speed repatriation of citizens in Germany illegally

Turkey opposition leader condemns Erdogan’s ‘coup against democracy’

French jets set off to join action as battle for Mosul looms

Moroccan left hopes to offer 'third way' at polls

Renault signs Iran auto venture

Saudi border guard killed, 3 civilians hurt by shelling from Yemen

Turkey issues warrants for judicial, prison staff

MSF warns Syria, Russia to stop ‘bloodbath’ in Aleppo

Russia waiting to see OPEC freeze deal details

Police raid Casablanca market after rumours of sex dolls

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump

Iranian, Italian ships hold manoeuvres in Strait of Hormuz