Body of slain Frenchman flown home from Algeria

2015-01-26 15:22

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Algiers - The body of a French tourist who was kidnapped and beheaded by jihadists in Algeria last September was put on a plane to Paris after a brief ceremony in Algiers on Monday.

Herve Gourdel's headless corpse was found in a booby-trapped grave in the mountainous Kabylie region, east of the capital, on 15 January after a months-long search involving at least 3 000 Algerian troops.

The 55-year-old mountain guide's backpack was laid on his coffin in tribute to the passion for hiking that had brought him to Algeria.

He was abducted in the heart of the Djurdjura National Park, whose dense forests, deep gorges and picturesque lakes were once a major attraction for tourists but which has since become a sanctuary for militants.

French ambassador Bernard Emie said it was "Kabylie's magnificent scenery" that had brought Gourdel to the North African nation.

He paid tribute the Algerian army for recovering his body.

Gourdel was kidnapped by jihadists of the Jund al-Khilafa [Soldiers of the Caliphate] group who demanded that France halt its air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

He was beheaded days later in a video posted online after France rejected the demand.

Read more on:    algeria  |  north africa
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