Germany and France are furious with Italy for granting temporary residence papers to Tunisian immigrants and, in an affront to the EU principle of free movement, the French authorities have refused entry to some immigrants at the border.
FRENCH PRESIDENT Nicolas Sarkozy has condemned the murder of a 78-year-old French aid worker by Islamic militants in northern Africa. Engineer Michel Germaneau was allegedly killed on Satuday by al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM).
The group released a statement today claiming to have killed the Frenchman in response to a recent joint French-Mauritian raid on the AQIM.
President Sarkozy condemned the murder of Germaneau, and said that his death would not go unpunished:
Far from weakening our determination, this death has reinforced it.
Germaneau was kidnapped in northern Niger on 20 April. He had been working to build healthy systems and schools for aid agency Enimal.
French troops acting in conjunction with Mauritian soldiers, tried to free him last week. However, the hostage was not found and six AQIM members were killed in the raid.
The statement, read by AQIM’s leader Abdelhamid Abu Zayd, said: “Sarkozy was unable to free his compatriot through this failed operation but he definitely opened one of the gates of hell on himself, his people, and his nation,” according to Aljazeera.
AQIM is believed to be holding two Spaniards after kidnapping them over seven months ago, and has been blamed for murdering British man Edwin Dyer, 60, last summer. Italian Sergio Cicala and his wife were held by the group for four months before their release in April.
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