French aid worker kidnapped in Mali

Story highlights

  • The worker runs a charity helping children suffering from malnutrition
  • Mali has struggled with instability and Islamist extremists for years.

(CNN)A French aid worker was kidnapped in the west African country of Mali, on Saturday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Sunday.

She was identified as Sophie Petronin and runs a charity to help children suffering from malnutrition, the statement said.
The aid worker was seized in Gao.
Malian authorities are fully mobilized to seek and release her as soon as possible, France said.
Mali has struggled with instability and Islamist extremists for years.
In the chaos following a March 2012 military coup, Islamist extremists created an enclave in the northern part of the country.
French troops helped push the militants out of urban areas, but they have persisted in the nation's desert regions, security analysts say.