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.


Erdogan’s vision of Syria’s future torn up by Putin

EU kicks off military operation against ‘mafia of the sea’

EU to ease Turkey migrant burden on conditions

IS bombings will not deter Yemen govt from staying in Aden

Halal economy set to grow worldwide

Iraq forces recapture several areas around Ramadi

Saleh’s party ‘ready’ for UN-brokered Yemen peace

Russia air strikes targeting Chechen jihadists in Syria

Russia examining US proposals to coordinate Syria strikes

Russia hints at willingness on Syria 'deconfliction' with US

France may strip five terrorists of nationality

Israel demolition policy: Collective punishment in violation of international law

Violence in Yemen may trigger world's next great refugee crisis

EU to 'step up' work on resettlement of refugees from Turkey

Tunisia dismantles three ISIS recruitment cells

Russia not cooperating with US in Syria safety talks

‘Islamic State’ claims series of deadly attacks in Yemen

Recent unrest leaves Netanyahu with tough political choices

NATO accuses Russia of violating Turkey airspace

Unpaid teachers in Iraq Kurdistan go on strike to end ‘farce’

Erdogan warns Russia not to destroy friendship with Turkey

Arab coalition troops among 15 killed in Yemen attacks

Russia has created ‘de facto no-fly zone’ for Assad

Is pro-Sisi parliament a given?

NATO warns Russia airspace violations risk inflaming tensions

Turkey urges EU to do more to topple Assad

Iran threatens boycott Frankfurt Book Fair over Rushdie’s invite

Libya rival factions resume peace talks in Morocco

Opening of Baghdad’s Green Zone to public worries US

Yemen PM escapes unharmed in Aden rocket attack

UK top counter-terrorism official accuses social media of 'undermining' investigations

Lebanon lawmakers nearly come to blows in televised meeting

Gulf Arab forces take back strategic island in Yemen

Yemeni forces besiege rebels after capturing key strait

US shows laxity in enforcement of Iran arms embargo

Turkey warns Russia over air space violations

Russia gets new warning from Pentagon as tensions simmer over Syria

Arab states silent on Russian intervention in Syria

Assault on Egyptian waiter in Jordan draws public outrage

Syria rebel factions call for new coalition to combat Assad and allies

Germany voices doubt over Russian operations in Syria

Iraq militia leader casts doubt on US seriousness about fight against ISIS

Russia jets hit nine ISIS targets in Syria over past 24 hours

Bodies of 85 migrants washed ashore in Libya

Israeli army shoots dead Palestinian teen near Bethlehem