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Hollande confirms French citizen kidnapped in Mali


12:47, November 22, 2012

PARIS, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday confirmed the abduction of a French man in Kayes in southwest Mali.

"I confirm the kidnapping of a French national in the southwestern Mali, the zone part where there was the greatest danger," the president said during a joint press conference with visiting Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano.

"We must do everything to free our national. I've warned all those who might be in the region to take all necessary precautions," he added without giving details on the hostage.

Hollande, supporter of a UN-backed military operation to end crisis in northern Mali, said Islamists' threats to harm France's interests and nationals is a "way that will not weigh (on the country's commitments in Mali)."

Citing Mauritanian news agency (AMI), the news channel BFMTV said the 61-year Jules Berto Rodriguez Leal, is a French citizen born in Portugal. He had crossed into Mali from Mauritania by car on Tuesday morning and had been kidnapped near Mauritania and Senegal borders.

The kidnapping in Mali brought the number of French hostages in the Sahel region to seven.

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