March 23, 2017 / 11:44 AM / 5 months ago

French citizen kidnapped in Chad taken into Sudan

N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - A French citizen kidnapped in Chad on Thursday near the border with Sudan's Darfur region has been taken into Sudan, a senior Chadian security source said on Friday.

The Frenchman, who has not been identified, was kidnapped south of Abeche, a mining area about 800 km (500 miles) east of the capital N'Djamena and 150 km from the border with Sudan. There were no immediate reports of any group claiming responsibility or making demands.

"We have a mixed Chadian-Sudanese force continuing the search," the Chadian source told Reuters.

Kidnappings are rare in Chad, a former French colony in West Africa, but the remote eastern border area has seen decades of back-and-forth movement from armed groups, including rebels fighting the Sudanese government.

The last French national kidnapped in Chad was an aid worker taken in the eastern border area in 2009 and released nearly three months later inside Darfur.

Around 1,000 French troops are stationed in Chad, which hosts the headquarters of France's 4,000-strong regional anti-militant operation, known as Barkhane.

Reporting by Madjiasra Nako; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, editing by Larry King

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