British hostage murdered in Mali

GORDON Brown today condemned al Qaida's "barbaric" murder of a Briton who was kidnapped in Mali four months ago.

GORDON Brown today condemned al Qaida's "barbaric" murder of a Briton who was kidnapped in Mali four months ago.

The Prime Minister said the government had "strong reason to believe' that the terrorist cell had carried out its threat to kill Edwin Dyer.

"This tragedy reinforces our commitment to confront terrorism,' Mr Brown said in a statement. "It strengthens our determination never to concede to the demands of terrorists, nor to pay ransoms.

"I want those who would use terror against British citizens to know beyond doubt that we and our allies will pursue them relentlessly, and that they will meet the justice they deserve.'

mf Mr Brown sent his condolences to the family of Mr Dyer, and said they would be offered "every possible support'.

He said UK officials had worked "strenuously to avoid this outcome', and he had regularly discussed the situation with the president of Mali.

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"I utterly condemn this appalling and barbaric act of terrorism,' Mr Brown added.

The group had threatened to kill Mr Dyer if the UK Government did not release Jordanian extremist Abu Qatada, who has been in prison since 2005 and is awaiting deportation to Jordan. A multimillion-euro ransom is also thought to have been demanded.

A statement reportedly released by the group today said: "The British captive was killed so that he, and with him the British state, may taste a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader and Jewish coalition to the east and to the west.'