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Al Qaeda-linked militant group in Mali executes British hostage

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An Al Qaeda-linked militant group says it has executed a British hostage in Mali, and only hours later was reported to have killed eight people near the Algerian capital, underscoring the growing threat that militancy poses in North and West Africa.

Edwin Dyer was vacationing in Niger in late January went he was abducted by militants and taken to neighboring Mali. The militants had threatened to kill Mr. Dyer unless the British government released Abu Qatada, a notorious extremist leader currently awaiting extradition from London. Several deadlines passed and Dyer was not killed, but on Wednesday the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb announced on a website that it had in fact carried out its threat.

In London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown vowed to root out extremists in North Africa, whose attacks have become more frequent and more widespread. "This tragedy reinforces our commitment to confront terrorism. It strengthens our determination never to concede to the demands of terrorists, nor to pay ransoms," Brown said in statement, according to Agence France-Presse.

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