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Algeria identifies 1 of Frenchman's captors: Source

On Monday, the self-styled "Jund al-Khilifa" group claimed responsibility for kidnapping the Frenchman

23.09.2014
Algeria identifies 1 of Frenchman's captors: Source

By Ahmed Aziz

ALGIERS

Algerian authorities have identified a Mauritanian militant as one of the kidnappers of a French national abducted Sunday in the northeastern Kabylie region, a security source said Tuesday.

On Monday, the self-styled "Jund al-Khilifa" group claimed responsibility for kidnapping the Frenchman, calling on France to halt its military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in exchange for the captive's release.

The French hostage has appeared in a video flanked by two hooded men as he appeals to French President Francois Hollande to intervene to secure his release.

One of the kidnappers speaks in the video, giving France a 24-hour deadline by which to halt its anti-ISIL campaign. Otherwise, the kidnapper threatens, the group would kill the hostage.

The security source said the militant who speaks in the video had been identified as Ismail Ould Makni, a 34-year-old Mauritanian man wanted by the Algerian authorities for allegedly joining Al-Qaeda in 2006.

"The militant was recognized by voiceprint technology after the authorities scanned the video posted by the militant group," the source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

Last week, Jund al-Khilifa broke away from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), pledging allegiance instead to the ISIL, which recently captured vast swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory.

The U.S. has led efforts to drum up international support for a proposed military campaign against the militant group in both countries.

On Friday, France began carrying out airstrikes against ISIL militants operating in Iraq.

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