Mali sends 2 people without passports back to France

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GAO, Mali (AP) — Authorities in Mali have returned two people to France after French authorities apparently deported them to this West African country without proof of their nationality.

Government spokesman Djeneba Deme said Friday the passengers' nationality was not immediately known and that they were flying only with a travel document issued by the European Union.

The incident comes amid tensions between the EU and African countries over the repatriation of illegal migrants. An untold number of West Africans attempt the dangerous passage to Europe by desert and sea each year in hope of a better life.

A Mali government statement says the country will not accept any visitors presumed to be Malian without a passport or Mali-issued travel documents.

French officials declined to comment, saying they were unaware of the case.

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