Malian authorities say Swiss aid worker abducted in Gao

Authorities in northern Mali say a Swiss aid worker has been abducted in the town of Gao.

The kidnapping took place Saturday when three men stormed her house and took her and an orphan at the home.

Hamadou Guindo, head of security for the governor of Gao, says a rescue operation has been launched.

The town of Gao was occupied by Islamic extremists in 2012 until a French-led military operation forced them from power though remnants continue to stage attacks in the region. They frequently target U.N. peacekeeping patrols and Malian soldiers.

Another Swiss woman has been abducted twice by jihadists in the northern town of Timbuktu. She has been in captivity since her second kidnapping last January and is believed to be in the hands of al-Qaida-linked militants.