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Mali Crisis Expanding: Mass Kidnapping of Westerners in a Saharan Oil Base

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image Notorious militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar said to be behind kidnappings

The North Africa Journal: The French military intervention against Islamist militants in northern Mali has added greatly to the insecurity in the region. In addition to the casualties of the conflict proper, Western interests, in particular French are being targeted wherever Al-Qaeda affiliated militants are present.

In neighboring Algeria, a country that failed to deliver a diplomatic solution, an attack against an oil base in the Saharan region of In-Amenas in Illizi, near the Libyan border took place earlier today. The base is home of oil workers from Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. The attack resulted in two deaths among the workers, including a French national.

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