URGENT ¥¥¥ Al-Qaeda says French hostage killed in Mali

A French hostage has been executed in Mali, a man claiming to be a spokesman for Al-Qaeda in North Africa told Mauritania's ANI news agency late Tuesday.

A French foreign office spokesman said they were trying to verify the report of the killing of Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped in November 2011, adding that "we don't know at the moment" whether it is reliable.