Mali kidnapping: Tourists evacuated

2011-11-26 14:14

kalahari.com

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now

Hombori - A group of tourists was evacuated from the ancient tourist city of Timbuktu in northern Mali Saturday, an airport source said, after the kidnapping of four Europeans, one of whom was killed.

The group of around 10 tourists was flown to Mopti, south of Timbuktu, in an aeroplane provided by Mali's government as authorities moved to prevent further kidnappings.

On Friday an armed gang kidnapped three people -- one Swede, one Dutch and one with dual British-South African nationality -- and killed a fourth German man who tried to resist.

A second evacuation of tourists to the capital Bamako was planned for later on Saturday.

Meanwhile five French army helicopters arrived in Gao, northern Mali, Saturday to hunt for two French nationals described as geologists kidnapped from their hotel 240 kilometres (150 miles) away in Hombori early Thursday.

French soldiers had already arrived to join Mali's army in looking for the pair, a source at the airport confirmed.

Mali's government described the spate of kidnappings as an "an attack on the country's security and stability," which "reaffirms (our) determination and unfailing commitment to any action needed to guarantee peace, security and stability."

Although there has been no immediate claim of responsibility, the incidents are the latest in a series of abductions of foreigners believed to be the work of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

AQIM has bases in the northern Mali desert from which it organises raids and kidnappings and deals in the trafficking of weapons and drugs.

It also operates in Niger, Mauritania and Algeria.

Friday's incident brings the total of foreigners held in the vast Sahel region to nine.

The two French captives, named in documents seen by AFP as Philippe Verdon and Serge Lazarevic, had arrived in Hombori on Tuesday night on a mission to take soil samples in the Hombori reion for the company Mande Construction Immobiliere where it plans to build a cement factory.

The kidnapping was "well organised", said a source in the security forces at Hombori. "We think that these people came from one of Mali's neighbouring countries to take part in the operation."

Police said five people had been arrested including the Frenchmen's guide, named as Ibrahim Ould Bah.

Northern Mali is classified as a "red zone" by the French authorities, which is a recommendation that travel there be avoided. Hombori is in the "orange zone" to the south, deemed less dangerous.

The kidnappings were the first in this region situated to the south of the vast Malian desert and close to Dogon territory, which is popular with tourists because of the famed masks, architecture and dances of the Dogon people whose land lies close to the border with Burkina Faso.

AQIM is still holding four French nationals abducted in Niger in September 2010.

The four were among seven people kidnapped at Arlit, the main uranium mining town in Niger. They included an executive of the French nuclear giant Areva and his wife, both French, with five employees of a sub-contractor of Areva, who were identified as three French men, a Togolese and a Madagascan.

The French woman and the two African men were freed on February 24, but the others are still being held.

Read more on:    mali  |  kidnappings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

MDW904 CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS SITE MANAGER

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Anchor Executive Recruitment (Pty) Ltd
R35 000 - R38 000 Per Month

Analyst

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town Finance

UNIVERSITY GRADUATE - Engineering not for you?

Cape Town CBD
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The virtual world can be very tempting to escape into but focus on also being present and keeping your feet anchored in reality....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.