Posted: Sep 2, 2012 6:34 AM
Updated: Sep 2, 2012 6:34 AM
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) The spokesman for a radical Islamic group in northern Mali claimed they had executed an Algerian diplomat they had held since April. The information could not be independently confirmed, and the Algerian Foreign Affairs Ministry said is trying to verify the information.
Islamist leader Oumar Ould Hamaha told The Associated Press by telephone late Saturday that that the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, (known by the French acronym MUJAO) had killed the diplomat in order to teach Algeria a lesson. The group had demanded that Algeria release three of their fighters who had been arrested.
MUJAO had initially given a Wednesday deadline, then added a three-day extension.
In Algeria, the ministry said Sunday that it is investigating the MUJAO statement announcing the execution "to ensure its authenticity."