SA government to probe Mali kidnap

2011-11-26 14:13
Johannesbuurg - A South African man was abducted in Timbuktu, Mali, the department of international relations said on Saturday.

The abduction was picked up on Friday and a South African team in the area followed it up, spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

He said the department would render consular assistance for the man's family as well as investigate who was responsible.

Monyela further said the department needed to verify the age and identity of the man, and no other details were yet available.

The Associated Press reported earlier on Saturday that a German man was killed and three others from the Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden, were abducted.

Officials ordered a plane to evacuate foreigners from the tourist destination.

The men's tour guide Ali Maiga told AP the South African man also held a British passport.

Maiga was with the tourists during Friday's attack at a Timbuktu restaurant.

A witness and an official said gunmen burst into the restaurant, grabbed four tourists dining there and executed one when he refused to climb into their truck.

Dutch officials did not say whether any of the hostages were Dutch. The abductions come before an expected official visit by Mali's president to the Netherlands next week.

"In the interests of the people involved, we never comment on these cases," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ward Bezemer told the Associated Press.

Friday's abduction came after two French citizens were grabbed in the middle of the night from their hotel in the Malian town of Hombori on Thursday.

French judicial officials had opened a preliminary investigation into their abduction, AP reported.

- SAPA
Read more on:    south africa  |  mali  |  abductions
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