Malian authorities say a Columbian national has been abducted in the south

Authorities say a Colombian working with the Catholic church in southern Mali has been abducted in the latest kidnapping to strike the vast Sahel region.

Commandant Modibo Naman Traore, spokesman for the West African nation's intelligence service, said armed gunmen seized the victim late Tuesday near the border with Burkina Faso.

There has been no official claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place in the village of Karangana. Traore said the kidnappers could have crossed over from Burkina Faso, where extremists still hold an Australian doctor hostage.

Other recent Western hostages taken include a French-Swiss woman who was living in northern Mali and an American who had long worked in Niger.

The Burkina Faso-Mali border region has been increasingly unstable in the last several years.

 

- AP

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