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French Citizen Is Kidnapped In Algeria By Islamist Splinter Group

A Frenchman was kidnapped by an armed group in Algeria on Sunday, the French government said.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the man was captured just hours after the Islamic State called on its followers to launch attacks against French citizens.

Eleanor filed this report for our Newscast Unit:

"A video released by a little known Islamist splinter group called the Caliphate Soldiers, shows the Frenchman sitting between two armed men with covered faces. He gives his name and age. He says he's a mountain guide who was taken hostage on Sunday.

"The Frenchman then asks French President François Hollande not to intervene in Iraq.

"France carried out its first air raids against Islamic State positions in Iraq On Friday.

"Earlier today the Sunni militant group put out a statement calling on its faithful to kill americans, French citizens and other members of the coalition any way they can.

"Hollande spoke with the Algerian prime minister after the kidnapping. Both governments say everything is being done to find the missing Frenchman."

France 24 reports that French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, "France is not afraid" of the Islamic State.

"This is not the first time France has been threatened by terrorist groups who attack the values of tolerance... respect for human rights and democracy, which France has upheld through its secular history," Cazeneuve said.

Reuters reports that the Caliphate Soldiers split from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb back in September. Since then, it has "sworn loyalty to the Islamic State."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.