7 officials kidnapped in Mali

Armed men on Friday kidnapped seven elected local councillors from the north Malian town of Timbuktu, an official in the regional governor’s office said on Friday.

“We have sent teams in pursuit to find them,” the official added, saying that initially nine people were abducted, but two were later freed about 40km from the scene of the crime.

The seven people in captivity were due on Saturday to vote in an election for members of a regional council consisting of local officials, according to reports obtained by AFP.

“We can’t give priority to one motive over another,” a representative of the Timbuktu governor said.

In the past, Tuareg nomads have been involved in some such abductions, but northern Mali has calmed down in recent months since decisive military action against a band led by the radical Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, who took refuge in Libya.



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