Algeria militants seize Frenchman

PARIS - A French tourist has been kidnapped in Algeria by a militant group linked to Islamic State (IS), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has confirmed.

Herve Gourdel, 55, was seized on Sunday in the unsettled north-east Kabylie area.

Algerian militant group Jund al-Khilafa threatened to kill him if France did not halt air strikes on Iraq.

Mr Fabius said an online video that showed Mr Gourdel flanked by armed men was authentic.

He said France would do everything it could to liberate Mr Gourdel, but that the situation was "extremely critical."

Islamic State militants warned on Sunday they would target Americans and other Western citizens, "especially the spiteful and filthy French", after French jets joined the US in carrying out strikes in Iraq on IS targets.

France on Monday raised the threat level for 30 of its embassies throughout the Middle East and Africa in response to what Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called "yet another demonstration of the barbarism of these terrorists".

IS jihadists have seized large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes this year.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said there would be "no discussion, no negotiation" with the kidnappers. "If you give in, if you go back one inch... you give [terrorism] this victory," he told French radio while on a visit to Germany on Tuesday.

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