Hollande holds crisis talks on Mali killings

AFP , Sunday 3 Nov 2013

French President Francois Hollande sent troops to Mali in January to oust Islamist rebels from the north

President Francois Hollande on Sunday opened an emergency meeting on the shock abduction and killing of two French radio journalists by armed men in northern Mali.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Justice Minister Christiane Taubira began the crisis talks with Hollande at 0830 GMT to try to shed light on the double murder.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) reporters Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were abducted by unknown assailants on Saturday in the northern city of Kidal.

They were seized outside the home of a spokesman for the Tuareg separatist group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), who they had come to interview.

The spokesman, Ambery Ag Rhissa, told RFI he saw the journalists being bundled into a four wheel-drive vehicle by men in turbans, speaking the Tuareg language of Tamashek.

"This was the last time that the journalists were seen alive," said Marie-Christine Saragosse, CEO of France Media Monde, which owns RFI.

Hollande has expressed "his indignation over this despicable act."

The French leader sent troops to Mali in January to oust Islamist rebels from the north.

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