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Mali: German killed; Dutch, SAfrican, Swede seized.

BAMAKO, Mali, Muharram 1, 1433, Nov 26, 2011, SPA -- Gunmen killed a German man in Mali's most famous city of Timbuktu and seized three men from the Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden, AP cited officials and witnesses as saying.

The announcement came as officials on Saturday ordered a plane to evacuate foreigners from the tourist destination.

The Dutch and Swedish governments confirmed Saturday that their citizens had been taken. A fellow traveler said the other man seized was South African and said she met the German man.

Tour guide Ali Maiga was with the tourists during Friday's attack at a Timbuktu restaurant and gave the same list of nationalities. A witness and an official said gunmen burst into the restaurant, grabbed four tourists dining there and executed one when he refused to climb into their truck.

Officials on Saturday evacuated foreigners from Timbuktu to the capital, said a man who owns a hotel in Bamako where the tourists previously stayed. He asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ward Bezemer confirmed that one Dutch man was among those kidnapped.

"In the interests of the people involved, we never comment on these cases," Bezemer told The Associated Press.

The kidnapping comes ahead of an official visit by Mali's president to the Netherlands next week.

--SPA 20:06 LOCAL TIME 17:06 GMT

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Publication:Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Geographic Code:6MALI
Date:Nov 26, 2011
Words:242
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