Islamist group to hand over Swiss woman

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Bamako - The spokesman for an Islamist group in north Mali says they want to hand over to authorities a Swiss woman who was taken hostage a week ago.

Sanda Ould Boumama says the woman is with his group, Ansar Dine, but refused to give any details about how the woman came to be with the group.

The woman, who was working as a missionary, was kidnapped in Timbuktu on April 15. No group had claimed responsibility for the abduction.

North Mali has been outside of the control of Malian government troops since the end of March.

Two main groups now appear to be competing to govern the zone:

Ansar Dine, which wants to see Sharia law brought to Mali, and the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, which wants to see a separate independent state in Mali's north. - Sapa-AP

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