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Mayor of Mali town accused of drug trafficking

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, April 11, 2013, 9:15 p.m.

BAMAKO, Mali — Authorities have arrested a mayor in northeastern Mali on drug trafficking charges three years after a plane full of cocaine landed near his town, officials said on Thursday.

Baba Ould Cheick was taken into custody on Wednesday morning, according to Alassane S. Toure, who headed the operation.

“We asked the headquarters in Gao to take all necessary measures to transfer him to Bamako as quickly as possible before locals could intervene,” Toure said.

Toure didn't provide details about the allegations against Cheick.

Cheick is the mayor of Tarkint, a small village located about 100 miles north of the town of Gao.

In November 2009, a Boeing 727-200 that was believed to be from Venezuela landed near Tarkint carrying at least five tons of cocaine aboard.

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