Skip to main content

AQIM claims responsibility for Mali killings

From Katarina Höije, for CNN
updated 1:34 PM EST, Wed November 6, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A statement surfaces on Sahara Media with a claim of responsibility
  • The two journalists were reportedly abducted after interviewing a rebel
  • They were killed over the weekend
  • Officials: The suspects were taken to the local French army base for questioning

Bamako, Mali (CNN) -- Days after two French journalists were killed in northern Mali, authorities rounded up dozens of suspects and a group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the deaths.

At least 30 suspects were seized in desert camps near the town of Kidal and taken to the local French army base for questioning, three officials in Mali said. The officials did not want to be named because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has allegedly claimed responsibility for the killings, according to Sahara Media news agency in Mauritania. AQIM operates in northern Africa and the group's statements have shown up before on the Sahara outlet.

Hollande on Kenya, Mali and Libya

Radio France International journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were abducted in front of the home of a member of the Tuareg rebels' National Movement of a Liberation of Azawad on Saturday, RFI reported.

They were found dead the same day. Their bodies arrived in Paris on Tuesday.

Kidal was one of the strongholds of the Islamic militant Tuareg uprising last year that plunged Mali into chaos after a military-led coup. Following the coup, Tuareg rebels occupied the northern half of the country.

A response to "crimes" against Muslims in Azawad

AQIM said the killings were in response to the "crimes" perpetrated by France as well as African and international troops against Muslims in Azawad.

Azawad is an area in northern Mali that separatist Tuareg rebels describe as the cradle of their nomadic civilization. AQIM said that this is just the beginning and that French President Francois Hollande will pay more in response to this "new crusade" against Muslims, according to the purported claim.

Veteran Spanish war correspondent kidnapped in Syria

As part of France's intervention this year to flush out militants in Mali, the French military secured the area around Kidal. Hollande called an emergency meeting with ministers Sunday after the killings.

CNN's Pierre Meilhan and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT