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 7:06 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 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