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Two French journalists kidnapped

BAMAKO (AFP) – Two journalists with Radio France Internationale (RFI) were kidnapped on Saturday by armed men while working in Kidal in Mali s far northeast, military and security sources said.

“Two RFI journalists were kidnapped by armed men in the centre” of Kidal, a Malian security source said. The fate of the two, identified as Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, was uncertain.

“The two journalists were on a reporting assignment. Each had a recording device and they had an appointment at the Malian Solidarity Bank (BMS) of Kidal. They were abducted by gunmen who left the city with them,” said the military source.

The town of Kidal, situated more than 1,500 km (930 miles) northeast of Bamako, near the Algerian border, is the traditional homeland of the Tuareg people and the birthplace of the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

Dupont, a specialist in African affairs who had been with RFI for several years, had previously been in Kidal to report on the presidential elections in July and August.

She had left Bamako for Kidal on Tuesday for special reports on Mali due to be broadcast by RFI on November 7 and 8.

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