BAMAKO, Mali, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The North African wing of al-Qaida says it will kill a French hostage unless Mali releases four of its members within 20 days, authorities say.
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is demanding the release in exchange for freeing Pierre Camatte, CNN reported Monday. Gunmen kidnapped Camatte, 61, from a Mali hotel in November.
"Let France and Mali be forewarned that we give 20 days to fulfill our just demand or the two governments shall be fully responsible for the life of the French hostage," the group said in a statement on an Islamic Web site.
AQIM executed a British citizen in June after the British government refused to release Abu Qatada, believed to be Osama bin Laden's top deputy in Europe, CNN said.
The group formed as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, dedicated to overthrowing the Algerian government. It joined forces with al-Qaida in 2004 and has spread its reach across North and West Africa, CNN reported.