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Swiss hostage released in Mali

The Swiss woman kidnapped in Mali nine days ago has been freed.

She was released in good health on Tuesday, according to the Swiss foreign ministry.

The woman, circa 40 years old and from Basel, was brought to Burkina Faso by helicopter after negotiations held in a tent under the watch of armed men. Both sides said afterwards that no ransom had been demanded or paid.

The woman has been working as a Christian missionary in Timbuktu for several years. She says she wishes to remain in the region.
 
A security official in the town said she was kidnapped by a private militia acting as sub-contractors for AQMI – al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch, which has bases in northern Mali.

The kidnappers had taken her out of town, but on the following day were pursued by armed men belonging to Ansar Dine and were forced to abandon her after shots were exchanged.
 
Ansar Dine, which itself has ties with AQMI, has been in control of Timbuktu since the beginning of April.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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