Hollande Confirms Execution of Hostage in Algeria

French President confirms the execution of Frenchman Herve Gourdel, says he will not be deterred by it.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Herve Gourdel
Herve Gourdel

French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday confirmed the execution of Frenchman Herve Gourdel, who was held hostage by Algerian terrorists linked to the “Islamic State” (IS).

"Our compatriot has been murdered cruelly and in a cowardly way by a terrorist group," Hollande told reporters ahead of his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, according to the Reuters news agency.

"Herve Gourdel was killed because he was French," added Hollande, who clarified that France will not be deterred from participating in the international coalition against IS.

"My determination is total and this aggression only strengthens it," he said. "France will continue to fight terrorists everywhere. The operations against Islamic State will continue. The military air strikes will continue as long as necessary."

The terrorists earlier on Wednesday released a video that appeared to show them beheading Gourdel, who was kidnapped on Sunday.

Hollande said France, which has been bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq alongside the U.S. military, would not be deterred by the killing of the French hostage.

"The military air operations will continue as long as necessary," he said.

The Caliphate Soldiers, a splinter group linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, had on Monday published a video claiming responsibility for the abduction and showed the man identifying himself as Gourdel.

Gourdel, a French nature guide and photographer, was taken hostage when terrorists stopped his vehicle in the remote mountains east of Algiers where he planned a hiking trip, according to Algeria's interior ministry statement.

A senior U.S. administration official in New York also reacted to the reports of Gourdel's execution.

"If true this would be another horrific action that is an affront to all of humanity," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "The United States would obviously stand in full solidarity with our French allies."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of the Rosh Hashanah holiday in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)