Tags: AF | Mali | Aid Workers

Extremists in North Mali Free Int'l Red Cross Workers

Friday, 22 April 2016 09:20 AM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Islamic extremists in north Mali have freed three staffers with the International Committee of the Red Cross who were kidnapped last week, a spokesman for the organization said Friday.

The staffers were freed early Friday, but no further details were available, said Valery Mbaoh Nana, international Red Cross spokesman in Bamako, Mali's capital.

The staffers were originally kidnapped by the jihadi Ansar Dine group on Saturday, said a Tuareg separatist who was in contact with the extremist group.

The team had earlier been stopped by French soldiers near the village Abeibara and their guide and his apprentice were detained, he said. The Red Cross staffers were allowed to continue.

The jihadis then kidnapped the staffers near Kidal, insisting the guide and his apprentice be freed, said the separatist who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Ansar Dine is led by a Tuareg, Iyad Ag Ghali, a native of the Kidal region. The extremist group emerged in 2012 as a religious alternative to the largely secular Tuareg separatists operating in northern Mali.

Ansar Dine allied itself with al-Qaida and took over much of Mali's north before a French-led military intervention in 2013.

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Islamic extremists in north Mali have freed three staffers with the International Committee of the Red Cross who were kidnapped last week, a spokesman for the organization said Friday.The staffers were freed early Friday, but no further details were available, said Valery...
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2016-20-22
Friday, 22 April 2016 09:20 AM
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