Dakar - A Malian journalist who has been missing for days was kidnapped by armed men, a family member told AFP Thursday.

Babi Ahbi, editor of the Bamako-based periodical Agora, was reported missing earlier in the week by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, amid continuing instability after a rebel takeover in the north and a military coup.

“On May 12 my brother-in-law was seized in town by armed men in civilian clothes,” said Ibrahim Maiga.

The assailants searched Ahbi's house then left with him, since when there has been no news, he added.

The media watchdog has called on the police to “shed light on this journalist's disturbing disappearance”.

Sources told Reporters Without Borders that Ahbi supported “the people in the north of Mali”, where an armed group has proclaimed a breakaway state.

Amid continuing political instability following the rebel takeover and the military coup in March, Reporters Without Borders compiled a summary of media freedom violations in Mali during the past three weeks.

“Chaos has reigned in the north since March, but the persistence of media freedom violations in the south, especially the capital, Bamako, is intolerable,” the media watchdog said. - Sapa-AFP