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Embassy: French adviser shot in Malian capital

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BABA AHMED | November 22, 2013 11:17 AM EST | AP


DOUENTZA, Mali (AP) — A French military adviser came under fire from a gunman waiting outside his house Friday in a rare attack on foreigners in the Malian capital, officials said.

The French citizen said the gunman fired at his vehicle as he was leaving the home.

"Two gunshots hit me — one in the shoulder and one in the head — but they were only superficial wounds," said the victim, who gave only his first name, Bernard, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

In Paris, French foreign ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani said a suspect was being questioned by Malian authorities but that it was too early to speculate on a motive.

A Malian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists, said authorities also have searched the suspect's home.

France launched a military offensive in January to oust radical jihadists who had overtaken the major towns across northern Mali. The French military has since reduced its presence but still has about 3,200 members in its former colony.

The French citizen wounded on Friday is working as a technical adviser with the Malian police.

Northern Mali has seen suicide bombing and mortar attacks aimed at French forces, but violent crime rarely targets foreigners in the capital of Bamako.