Two Dutch nationals seized in Mali

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Unidentified assailants in Mali have killed one Western national and kidnapped three others. The person killed is believed to be a US citizen. The hostages are thought to be European, two of them Dutch.

They were seized in the Timbuktu region of northern Mali. The victim who was shot dead had tried to resist his abduction, according to local sources.

The news of the latest kidnapping comes after two French geologists were abducted by an armed gang from their hotel in the eastern village of Hombori near the border with Niger early Thursday.

French soldiers have now joined Mali's army in the hunt for the pair, according to an AFP journalist in the Hombori region.

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 al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM.

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

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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