A Mauritanian news website is reporting that al-Qaida-linked militants have claimed responsibility for the killing of two French journalists in neighboring Mali.
Sahara Media said Wednesday it received the claim from fighters loyal to Abdelkrim al-Targui, a top regional commander for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb .
The statement said the killing was in response to "crimes" committed by France and its Malian, African and U.N. allies against Muslims in northern Mali.
Islamist militants have used Sahara Media to release messages in the past.
The two French radio journalists were killed Saturday in northern Mali after being abducted.
Gunmen had kidnapped the male and female journalists soon after they finished interviewing an official with the MNLA separatist group in the northern Malian town of Kidal.
Kidal is the stronghold for the MNLA, which has been fighting for an independent Tuareg state in northern Mali. The group took control of Kidal after French and African forces drove Islamist militants out of the region earlier this year.