French mountain guide Hervé Gourdel was beheaded on 24 September by Jund al-Khilafa jihadist militants, a radical organisation that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), reports Le Figaro. Gourdel was kidnapped in Algeria’s northern region of Kabylie on 19 September while hiking. Kidnappers said they would kill him unless France ended its military operations against the IS in Iraq. The previous days the Algerian army launched an operation to rescue him.
Le Figaro writes that the usually divided French politicians unanimousely condamned Gourdel’s killing, starting with president François Hollande —
moved and dennouncing a “terrible injustice”, the head of the State said Hervé Gourdel died “because his country, France, is fighting terrorism” and because he represented “a people fond of freedom” fighting against “barbarism”.
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