Was murder of two French journalists in Mali linked to unpaid ransoms?


In November 2013 two journalists from French public broadcaster RFI, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, were kidnapped and killed while on assignment in the north of Mali. The exact reasons why the pair were killed have never been clear. Now an investigation suggests the murders may have been a revenge attack after the jihadist kidnappers of four other French hostages had not received all the ransom reportedly paid to secure their release. Yann Philippin reports.

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The timing is curious. The last four French hostages of a group kidnapped by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) at a uranium mine (1) in Arlit, northern Niger, were released on October 28th, 2013 against a ransom of at least 30 million euros. Just four days later, two journalists with public broadcaster Radio France International (RFI), Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, were abducted and murdered in Kidal in northern Mali, an area where Tuareg separatists, jihadists and other militias have been active over several years.