Mali arrests suspects in journos' murder
04 November 2013, 18:35
Bamako - Around a dozen suspects have been arrested over the
killing of two French journalists in Mali, a police source in the north of the
country told AFP on Monday.
"A dozen suspects have been arrested since the murder
of two Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalists," said a police
source in Gao, the main city in northern Mali.
Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalist Ghislaine
Dupont, 57, and sound technician Claude Verlon, 55, were kidnapped and killed
by what Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius coined "terrorist groups" in
the flashpoint northeastern town of Kidal on Saturday.
Their murder has shaken France, which just days ago was
celebrating the return of four hostages who had been held for three years after
being abducted in Mali's neighbour Niger.
On Monday, Fabius told RTL radio "operations" were
under way in Mali in a bid to "identify a certain number of people in
But a source close to Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
who refused to be named told AFP French forces had "information" that
could allow the murderers to be tracked down.
Dupont and Verlon's bodies were found riddled with bullets
just hours after they were kidnapped on Saturday, lying by a pick-up truck they
had been abducted in.
Fabius said Dupont was killed with two bullets in the chest
while Verlon "received three bullets in the head."
"When the French forces arrived behind the pick-up,
they saw someone escaping not far away, around 1 500m away, they followed him
but did not catch him."
The two veteran journalists had travelled to Kidal to
interview a spokesperson for the Tuareg separatist group the National Movement
for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and were abducted outside his home,
according to their employer.