French hostage Herve Gourdel was abducted and beheaded, a killing shown on video, French President Francois Hollande told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Gourdel was kidnapped over the weekend in Algeria’s Tizi Ouzou region east of Algiers, the French Foreign Ministry said. The video was posted online Wednesday. It shows armed men who claim to belong to Islamist militant group Jund al-Khilafa — or Soldiers of the Caliphate — in Algeria. They pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Titled “A message of blood for the French government,” the video surfaced as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls addressed the French National Assembly, the country’s lower house of parliament, about the fight against ISIS.
France is part of a broad coalition that is working with the United States to combat the brutal extremist group.
The video appears to show the latest beheading of a Westerner by an Islamist extremist group. Since mid-August, ISIS has beheaded American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley and British aid worker David Haines.
The new video came on the same day U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations, calling for all countries to unite against terrorism and brutality wrought by ISIS. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria goes against everything Islam stands for, he said. Islam, Obama said, is about peace.