French citizen kidnapped in south-west Mali
PARIS (AP) - A French citizen has been kidnapped in south-west Mali, far from the zone controlled by Al-Qaeda-linked militants where African countries are preparing a possible military intervention, officials said on Wednesday.
The kidnapping brings to seven the number of French citizens being held in the west African nation that is effectively divided in two, with radical Islamists and native Touareg rebels in control of the north.
Northern Mali fell to Islamist extremists in April, after coup leaders toppled the government in Bamako, Mali's capital.
France has been a driving force behind an initiative taking shape for a potential military intervention by Mali's army, perhaps bolstered by other African troops, to drive the Islamists from power.