American Kidnapped in West African Nation of Benin

Posted on: May 28, 2012 at 00:40
An American citizen has been kidnapped in the West African nation of Benin, a U.S. embassy spokeswoman said Saturday, but details of the incident were unclear.

''I can confirm an American got kidnapped in Benin last week,'' Melissa Ford, a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in neighboring Nigeria, told Agence France Presse, indicating she had no other details.

She directed further questions to the embassy in Benin, which declined to comment. Benin authorities also declined to comment.

The victim's identity could not be immediately determined, nor was it clear who the kidnappers were or whether the person seized remained in the hands of the abductors.

Kidnappings have been rare in Benin, a former French colony of some nine million people.

Abductions for ransom have however occurred regularly in the south of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer. Most victims have been released unharmed following ransom payments.

However, an insurgency by the Islamist group Boko Haram, which is concentrated mainly in northern Nigeria, has also left more than 1,000 people dead since mid-2009.

Source:Agence France Presse
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