Al-Qa'ida beheads French hostage in Mali

A Frenchman taken hostage in northern Mali was beheaded by al-Qa'ida in retaliation for France's military intervention in the African country, it was reported.

A spokesman for al-Qa'ida's North African arm told Mauritania's ANI news agency that Philippe Verdon had been executed on 10 March. Mr Verdon, 55, was one of two French hostages captured in the town of Hombori in November 2011. France's Foreign Ministry declined to comment.