PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister says his country won’t stop fighting Islamic State militants despite demands by kidnappers holding a French hostage.
The 55-year-old man was abducted in Algeria on Monday by a splinter group from al-Qaida’s North African branch. The Jund al-Khilafah, or Soldiers of the Caliphate, said it would kill him unless France halts it airstrikes in Iraq within 24 hours.
Manuel Valls said Tuesday on Europe 1 radio that French authorities are “doing everything” to try to free the hostage, but won’t negotiate with his captors.
He said, “if we cede, if we retreat one inch, that would hand victory” to the militants.
French forces on Friday joined the U.S. in carrying out airstrikes against extremists who have overrun large areas of Syria and Iraq .