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Authorities: Swiss Aid Worker Abducted in Northern Mali

  • VOA News

FILE - A man rides a motorcycle down a street in the northern city of Gao, Mali, July 22, 2016.

Authorities in northern Mali say a Swiss aid worker has been kidnapped in the northern town of Gao.

A regional security ministry spokesman said the abduction occurred Saturday when three men stormed her house and took her and an orphan living in her home. There has been no claim of responsibility, and it was not immediately clear why the aid worker was seized.

A French diplomatic source told Reuters that Paris was aware of the reported abduction and was working to verify details.

That report quoted a local radio station as saying the woman was affiliated with Aide Gao, a small nonprofit that helps children suffering from malnutrition.

Gao was occupied by Islamic extremists in 2012, until a French-led military operation forced most of the jihadist force from the region. Small units continue to stage attacks and abductions in the region, however.

Another Swiss woman, a Christian missionary working in the region, has been abducted twice, most recently last January. Authorities believe she is being held by al-Qaida-linked militants.

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