Report: Mali gunmen release kidnapped Swiss woman

April 24, 2012 18:14

TIMBUKTU - Gunmen in Mali's rebel-held north released on Tuesday a Swiss woman who had been abducted in Timbuktu on April 15, witnesses said.

The woman, Beatrice Stockly, was released some seven kilometers (4 miles) north of Timbuktu by members of Islamist group Ansar Dine, and picked up by a helicopter containing members of Burkina Faso's military, the witnesses said.

A mix of Tuareg separatists and Islamist rebels captured Timbuktu on April 1 in the final leg of their lightning advance southwards through Mali's desert north, as government forces retreated in the aftermath of a coup in the capital.

Seven Algerian diplomats have also been kidnapped in northern Mali since the rebels took the territory.

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