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Portuguese man kidnapped in Mozambique

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Armed men have captured a Portuguese man in the Mozambican capital, police said on Monday, the latest in a series of kidnappings for ransom.

Police said the 22-year-old victim, who was not named, was bundled into a car in Maputo on Saturday by up to five assailants. It was not clear whether a ransom had been demanded.

"A group of unidentified individuals approached a 22-year-old... and kidnapped him," said Orlando Modumane, police spokesman for the city.

A spate of kidnappings for ransom in recent months has left wealthy locals and expatriates anxious about their safety.

The kidnappers initially appeared to have targeted the children of wealthy local families.

In October a teenage kidnap victim was murdered in Mozambique after the family failed to pay a ransom and contacted the authorities.

But foreigners have also fallen victim, among them three Portuguese nationals who were released earlier this month.

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has asked the families of its foreign employees to leave Mozambique as a precaution.

Scores of people, including policemen, have been convicted and jailed in recent months for kidnappings.

Analysts say the kidnappings stem from the instability in the country as a low-intensity conflict rages between the army and fighters from revived rebel group Renamo.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131125/portuguese-man-kidnapped-mozambique