French Foreign Ministry: 67-year-old French woman NGO kidnapped in Central African Republic

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PARIS — France's Foreign Ministry says a French woman working for a humanitarian group in Central African Republic has been kidnapped.

The ministry statement issued Monday night did not identify the 67-year-old woman or elaborate on the circumstances of Monday's kidnapping in Bangui, the capital.

The ministry called on the kidnappers to free the woman. Its statement did not mention the kidnappers' identity, but said the archbishop's office in Bangui was in "permanent contact" with the kidnappers.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims over the past year. However, security is returning — United Nations peacekeepers are in place and France has said it would withdraw 500 of its 2,000 troops sent in to its former colony to avert more bloodshed.

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