Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Africa

One tourist killed, others kidnapped in Mali's Timbuktu

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-26

Gunmen in Mali kidnapped three European tourists and killed a fourth in the Mali town of Timbuktu on Friday, a day after two French nationals were taken at gunpoint from their hotel in the same remote desert region.

REUTERS - Gunmen kidnapped three Westerners and killed a fourth in the historic northern Mali town of Timbuktu on Friday, the second hostage-taking in the region in two days, Malian government and local sources said.

One government source and a local tourist guide identified the person who was killed as a German. The guide said two of those taken hostage were Dutch and one South African, though there was no official confirmation of their nationalities.

On Thursday two French nationals were kidnapped from their hotel in the same remote desert region, where local agents for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operate. Mohamed Ag Hamalek, a local tourist guide contacted by telephone by Reuters, described Friday’s abduction.

“They were taking a stroll when the armed men forced them into four-wheel-drives, they shot the German dead on the spot because he tried to resist,” he said. 

Hamalek said the attackers sped off as security forces put up roadblocks and set off in pursuit. “The whole town is in a state of shock, because that never happened here. Most of the people in Timbuktu live off the tourism ... but already that was getting scarcer. I reckon it is finished now,” he said.

Timbuktu, founded a thousand years ago and famous as a major trading centre for gold and salt, was one of the centres of a tourist sector that includes a famous festival of Malian music.

The increased risk of kidnappings, either by Islamists or by local gunmen cooperating with them, has made large tracts of Mauritania, Mali and Niger no-go areas for Westerners.
Western nations led by France and the United States are trying to improve regional cooperation, but their efforts have been undermined by a lack of resources, regional rivalries and a degree of local complicity.

There has been no claim of responsibility for either kidnapping. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said it was behind the abduction last year of seven mine executives in neighbouring Niger.

Four of them remain in captivity, widely thought to be somewhere in northern Mali. Doubts surfaced on Friday over the identity of the two French nationals initially described as geologists who were kidnapped on Thursday in the town of Hombori, close to the border with Burkina Faso.

France’s Europe 1 radio said the two were known to French secret services. One, of Hungarian extraction, took part during the 1990s in the recruitment of Yugoslavian mercenaries to fight in then Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The second was arrested in September 2003 in the Indian Ocean archipelago island Comoros for his part in an attempted coup d’etat, it said. The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report, saying only it was doing all it could for their release. 

Date created : 2011-11-25

  • Mali

    French military joins hunt for geologists seized in Mali

    Read more

  • Mali

    Two French citizens kidnapped in Mali

    Read more

  • MAURITANIA - MALI

    Bodies recovered after raid on al Qaeda camp in Mali

    Read more

COMMENT(S)