Africa News blog

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Why was Edwin Dyer killed?


Edwin Dyer was among a group of Western tourists kidnapped on the Niger-Mali border after attending a festival of Tuareg culture in late January.

Four months later the Briton was killed by al Qaeda’s North African wing, which had been demanding the release of Abu Qatada, a Jordanian Islamist being held in Britain.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said Dyer’s death was “a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader and Jewish coalition”.

Although Dyer was killed on May 31, news of his death was not released until June 3, a day before President Barack Obama gave a speech in Cairo intended to mend fences with the Muslim world.