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France rules out negotiation in Algeria kidnap
September 24, 2014
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PARIS: Algerian military and police set up checkpoints and sent troops into mountains east of Algiers on Tuesday to look for a Frenchman kidnapped by militants who threatened to execute him over France’s intervention in Iraq. The Caliphate Soldiers, a splinter group linked to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Iraq and Syria, on Monday published a video claiming responsibility for the abduction and showed a man identifying himself as Herve Gourdel, a tourist from Nice.

Just hours earlier, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al Adnani had urged followers to attack citizens of the United States, France and other countries which have joined a coalition to destroy the extremist group. Reuters reporters on Tuesday said trucks carrying Algerian special forces headed to the eastern mountains and gendarmerie set up checkpoints not far from the village of Ait Ouabane, where the Frenchman was snatched late on Sunday.

“We will do everything with the co-ordination of Algerian authorities to ensure he finds his freedom, but obviously in the face of terrorism, which plays on fear and terror, you have to be determined,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told Europe 1 radio.

“If we pull back by a thumb, we hand them victory.”

“No discussion or negotiations (are possible). We will not give in to blackmail.” France on Tuesday urged its nationals to heighten their vigilance in Algeria, citing the kidnapping and French participation in coalition attacks against ISIS.

Gourdel’s family and friends said the Frenchman was passionate about nature and photography and had planned to spend around 10 days in Algeria.


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