MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - A French national has been kidnapped in Algeria amid threats by the Islamic State (IS) to retaliate against France over its airstrikes in Iraq, Sky News reported Monday, citing official reports.
Referring to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sky News stated that the person was kidnapped east of Algeria in Tizi Ouzou. The region is reported to be a hideout for North Africa's al-Qaeda branch.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, which comes amid pledges by IS militants to attack citizens of the United States, France as well any other countries that would join the US-led airstrike coalition against the jihadist group.
France launched its first airstrike against the Islamic State Saturday thus joining the United States in quashing the militant group. Airstrikes against the Islamic State were first launched by the United States on September 15.
The IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq and seized vast areas in both countries, proclaiming an Islamic caliphate on the territories over which it had control.