1 Tourist Killed 3 Kidnapped in Mali

Posted November 25th, 2011 at 6:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Officials in Mali say one tourist was killed and three were kidnapped when gunmen burst into a restaurant in the county's ancient city of Timbuktu.

Witnesses say the four tourists were led to a vehicle outside the restaurant Friday, and when one tried to resist, he was shot and killed.

The director of tourism in Timbuktu, Sam Chirfi, told VOA that the tourist who died was a German citizen. He said those who were kidnapped are Swedish, Dutch and South African.

The kidnapping happened one day after two French citizens were abducted from their hotel in the town of Hombori in eastern Mali near the border with Niger.

No one has claimed responsibility for the two sets of kidnappings.

The militant group, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, has said it was behind the kidnapping of seven people in neighboring Niger last year. The group is still holding four French nationals.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb operates across the Sahel, a strip of semi-arid land that separates the Sahara Desert from the rest of Africa.