ISIS-linked militants in Algeria have beheaded a French tourist captured at the weekend – after issuing threats to kill him if France did not cease bombing targets in Iraq.
French Hostage Beheaded By Algerian Militants Linked To Islamic State
The group threatened to kill their hostage by the end of the night if Paris did not stop air strikes in Iraq, where ISIS controls vast swaths of territory
According to Daily Mail, 55-year-old Herve Gourdel was captured by Islamist group Jund al-Khilifa while hiking in the Djurdjura National Park on Sunday - just one day after he arrived in Algeria for a walking holiday.
A video which featured Gourdel was released on Monday in which the militants threatened to kill the French national unless France stops bombing ISIS targets in Iraq by the end of the day.
The footage prompted some 1,500 Algerian forces to comb through the restive, mountainous Tizi Ouzou region in the east of Algeria - desperately trying to save Mr Gourdel before it was too late.
The group threatened to kill their hostage by the end of the night if Paris did not stop air strikes in Iraq, where ISIS controls vast swaths of territory.
'Soldiers are combing through the area,' an Algerian security source said this afternoon, before Mr Gourdel's brutal death was eventually confirmed.
The hunt for Mr Gourdel came a day after President Francois Hollande vowed not to give in to the jihadists' demands, on the sidelines of an official trip to New York.
' he said.
Gourdel, who lived in the southern French city of Nice, only arrived in Algeria on Saturday and was seized the following day while hiking in the heart of the Djurdjura National Park - whose dense forests, deep gorges and picturesque lakes were once a major draw for tourists.
However, the mountains became a sanctuary for Islamists in the 1990s who later swore allegiance to Al Qaeda, and security forces have been unable to dislodge them.
A passionate photographer and mountaineer, Mr Gourdel liked going off the beaten track, though he was always careful, his friends said.
'I often bump into him in the mountains and he always goes to little-known areas of the massif, never on the major routes where there are people,' said Michel Ingigliardi, his friend of 30 years in Saint-Martin-Vesubie, a village nestled deep in the French Alps outside Nice.
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