France says Frenchwoman kidnapped in Central African Republic

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2015 3:23 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - A French charity worker was abducted in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, on Monday, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The 67-year-old woman was working for a charity providing health and education support to Central African villages, the ministry said.

The French ambassador in Bangui is in contact with the archbishop's office in the city, which has started negotiations with the captors, it said.

U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic have arrested a senior leader of the anti-balaka militia, wanted for crimes including murder, rebellion, rape and looting, the country's senior prosecutor said on Sunday.

It was not clear whether the kidnapping was connected to the arrest.

A spokesman for the Caritas charity in Paris told Reuters a pickup truck carrying the Frenchwoman, who does not work directly for Caritas but for the Catholic church's local health desk, and two churchmen from the Holy Ghost congregation, was intercepted in Bangui earlier this morning.

(Reporting by Michel Rose and Sophie Louet in Paris and Matthew Mpoke Bigg in Accra; Editing by Alison Williams, Larry King)