Dutch issue travel warning after Mali kidnap
The Netherlands issued a travel warning Saturday, advising citizens to avoid northern Mali where three foreigners including a Dutchman were kidnapped and a fourth killed on Friday.
All travel north of the Niger River and the area bordering Mauritania "should be avoided," the Dutch foreign ministry said.
"This included the cities of Timbuktu and Kidal," added the advisory, published on the department's website.
Authorities flew out the score of tourists still visiting the ancient city of Timbuktu despite warnings on Saturday in the wake of the kidnaps, an airport official said.
On Friday an armed gang snatched a Swede, a Dutchman and a man with dual British-South African nationality as they sat in a restaurant in the central square and killed a German with them who tried to resist, officials said.
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.
© 2011 AFP