AQIM? Gunmen Abduct Two Frenchmen In Niger

Via SMH

Heavily armed members of Niger's security forces were combing the centre of the capital Saturday after gunmen abducted two Frenchmen from a restaurant in front of shocked diners and staff.

Two armed men burst into the Toulousain restaurant in the city centre when it was crowded with diners late Friday and forced the two men to follow them, staff and diners told AFP.

They were taken to a four-by-four vehicle with Benin plates in which other armed men were waiting and then driven off at speed. The incident happened between 10:30 pm and 11:30 pm (2130 and 2230 GMT).
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A security source in Niger confirmed the abduction, while a police source said that one of the two abducted men had arrived that same day to attend a wedding.

A French foreign ministry spokesman in Paris told AFP late Friday: "We are aware of this information, we are fully mobilised both in Paris and in Niamey to check it."[...]

Witnesses said both abductors wore turbans and one customer at the restaurant said the two had fair skin and had spoken Arabic.

"When they came in they fell on the two Frenchmen and they shouted, 'You and you, follow us'. In their rush, one of the attackers lost his turban.

French & African hostages are still being held by AQIM, who abducted them last September.

Let's hope they all will be released...unharmed.

Posted by: Stable Hand at 12:15 AM

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