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French national kidnapped within Malian territory


13:09, November 22, 2012

NOUAKCHOTT, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- A 61-year-old French national was kidnapped on Tuesday night within Malian territory after having crossed over through a border post in eastern Mauritania, an official source has said.

The Mauritanian News Agency (AMI) reported the abducted French national was Jules Berto Rodriguez Leal who was born on July 18, 1951, in Laurichal, Portugal.

The French national was abducted after having left the Mauritanian territory on Tuesday at around 11:00 a.m. through Gogui border post, aboard a white Peugeot car with registration number AW 483 YE.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the abduction.

French nationals have always been targeted by terrorist groups operating from northern Mali, currently under the control of rebel or Islamist groups.

A senior official of the al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) Abou Alhammam recently warned France against taking part in the military action that is targeting AQMI in northern Mali.

For several months, AQMI has been holding four French nationals who were captured in Niger and has threatened to kill them if France takes part in the military action in northern Mali.

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