Aid worker kidnapped in Mali town of Gao
A French-Swiss aid worker has been kidnapped in the city of Gao in northern Mali, and French and Malian authorities are working together to rescue her, the French foreign ministry says.
Sophie Petronin, who runs a non-governmental organisation that helps children suffering from malnutrition, was kidnapped on Saturday afternoon but so far, no one has made a claim of responsibility, Malian Commandant Baba Cisse said on Sunday.
Mali has been beset by attacks from resurgent Islamist groups, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb this year, especially in the north.
Gao, seized by Islamist militants in 2012 before French forces drove them out a year later, is considered the most secure town in northern Mali with multiple UN, French and Malian army checkpoints along main roads.
"In liaison with the Malian authorities, they (French authorities) are fully mobilised to seek and release, as soon as possible, our compatriot," the French foreign ministry said.
A local radio station in Gao said the aid worker was affiliated with Aide Gao and was snatched by a group of men who drove off with her in a Toyota pickup truck.
Aide Gao was not available for comment..