Hollande to Discuss Execution of French Hostage in Mali With Defense Chiefs

Al Qaeda beheaded Philippe Verdon, saying they did so in response to the French-led intervention in Mali


President François Hollande called a meeting of France's top defence committee Wednesday morning after Al-Qaeda's north African branch (Aqim) claimed that it has killed a French hostage captured in Mali.

As the French defence ministry sought to confirm Aqim's claim that it killed Philippe Verdon on 10 March, Hollande summoned military and intelligence chiefs and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Foreign Affairs

Minister Laurent Fabius and Interior Minister Manuel Valls to a crisis meeting.