Gunmen kidnap another Westerner in Mali

Just days after the UK issued a heightened travel alert for Mali, gunmen have kidnapped a French national in the North African country.

Pierre Kamatte, a 61 year-old malaria researcher, was working in the northeastern town of Menaka when he was kidnapped outside his hotel on Wednesday.

There has been no official confirmation, but both the French and Malian governments suspect Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb, shown here in an image taken from one of their propaganda videos. This organization claims ties to Al-Qaeda and operates across several countries in North Africa. It has conducted numerous kidnappings of foreigners and locals in the past few years and killed a British national earlier in the year.

Mali is home to the popular adventure destination of Timbuktu and music festivals such as the Festival in the Desert and stands to lose much-needed hard currency if foreigners stay away. It looks like now the hard currency will come in the form of military aid from the United States, which has pledged millions of dollars in equipment to help Mali fight the terrorists.