2 French journalists kidnapped in north Mali, military and French radio say

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Mali's military chief in the northern city of Kidal said two journalists working for French radio station RFI have been kidnapped.

RFI confirmed the kidnappings on its website, saying that journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were taken at 1 p.m. by armed men in Kidal and have not been heard from since.

Col. Mamari Camara said his men in the field confirmed the two reporters were taken Saturday.

A Kidal city official says the journalists finished an interview with a Tuareg rebel leader when several armed men grabbed them. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press.

Northern Mali last year was seized by a faction of al-Qaida which has used kidnappings of foreigners, especially French citizens, to bankroll its operations.