Algeria hostage crisis justifies Mali intervention: Hollande

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The Algeria hostage crisis has proved that French military intervention in Mali is right, said French President Francois Hollande.

“The Algerian authorities inform me regularly about the situation but I do not yet have enough evidence to make an assessment,” the president said to business and social leaders at the Elysee Palace.

“What’s happening in Algeria justifies the decision I made on behalf of France to help Mali in conformity with the United Nations’ charter and as response to (Malian) president’s request,” he said.

Hollande on Thursday confirmed that French nationals were among dozens of foreigners kidnapped after Islamists attacked a gas field operated by a joint venture including British oil firm BP, Norwegian firm Statoil and Algerian state company Sonatrach in southeast Algeria on Wednesday.

The kidnappers claimed to have held up to 41 foreigners, and insisted on France halting military intervention inMali in exchange for keeping the hostages safe.