Mali fighters say they have killed French hostage

A French foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday night that Gilberto Rodrigues Leal was feared dead after the claim from al Qaeda-linked fighters in Mali.

The MUJAO, a French acryonym which in English means “Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa,” group told the French AFP news agency earlier on Tuesday that “he is dead, because France is our enemy.”

Gilberto Rodrigues Leal was kidnapped in November 2012 while travelling in Mali and Mauritania. The MUJAO spokesman, Yoro Abdoul Salam, spoke to AFP by phone. When asked for more information like a time or place of death, or evidence such as a photo, AFP reported that Salam said “in the name of Allah, he is dead,” before hanging up.

The government in Paris responded cautiously, but admitted to fearing the worst…

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