Four European tourists kidnapped in Mali

Four European tourists kidnapped in MaliNairobi/Bamako  - Four European tourists have been kidnapped near the border of Niger and Mali as they returned from a festival on nomad culture, reports said Friday.

Mali officials say that one German, two Swiss and one Briton were taken by unknown gunmen, the BBC reported.

The German foreign office confirmed that a German national had been missing since Thursday at noon, while the Swiss foreign ministry confirmed that two of its nationals had been taken.

The tourists were travelling in a three-car convoy. The first car escaped, but the other two were seized, the BBC said.

The area where the tourists were taken is harsh desert terrain and is populated by the nomadic Tuareg people.

Tuareg rebels are fighting the Malian government in the north of the country.

On Thursday, the Malian government said its forces had killed 31 Tuareg who attacked an army base. (dpa)