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Frenchman kidnapped in Mali asks government for help via video

A French national who was kidnapped by an al-Qaida-linked extremist group in Mali appeared on a video published this weekend and made available on Monday, where he begs the French government to intervene on his behalf.

The victim, identified as 61-year-old Jules Berto Rodriguez Leal, was grabbed last week in southwestern Mali by MUJAO, a group controlling part of northern Mali.

While northern Mali has long been off-bounds to Westerners due to the kidnap threat, the area where Leal was taken in the region of Kayes is considered safe, indicating the extremists are extending their reach.

Leal said in the message broadcast on Saharamedias.Net, a Mauritanian portal, that he asks "the French government to satisfy the demands of MUJAO, which kidnapped me, as quickly as possible."