Mali arrest suspected Islamist fugitive linked to jail break

BAMAKO Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:42am EDT

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BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali security forces have arrested Mahamed Aly Ag Wadoussene, a fugitive at the heart of a jail break in Mali's capital on June 16 in which at least two people were killed and 22 prisoners escaped, officials said on Wednesday.

Ag Wadoussene who shot his way out of the prison, was being held for his alleged role in the 2011 kidnapping of two French citizens who ended up in the hands of al Qaeda's in north Africa.

The kidnapping and jail break served as a reminder about the fragile security situation in the West African state after a 2012 coup led to the collapse of the army, allowing al Qaeda-linked Islamists to occupy three vast desert regions for nearly a year.

"Mahamed Aly Ag Wadoussene was arrested in Bamako. We knew he was going to try and contact his girlfriend, who lives with a family in Bamako," Major Modibo Traoré, a Mali army spokesman told Reuters.

Colonel Souleymane Maiga, confirmed the arrest, adding that Ag Wadoussene was arrested on Tuesday night at the Hamdalaye neighborhood in the Malian capital.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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