Paris: France’s foreign ministry said Monday that a national had been kidnapped in Algeria’s restive east, confirming an earlier statement by security and judicial sources in the north African country.
“A French national was abducted Sunday in Algeria, in the Tizi Ouzou region, which he was visiting. This abduction has not been claimed,” the ministry said.
Tizi Ouzou is in Kabylie, where Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has carried out deadly attacks this year, but it was not immediately clear if he was abducted by AQIM militants or by bandits.
“Everything is being done to find our fellow countryman. Authorities are mobilised and no hypothesis is being discarded,” the ministry said.
“We are in permanent contact with Algerian authorities, who are cooperating and fully supporting us.”
According to the Algerian sources, the man, aged 55, was seized as he was trekking in Tizi Ouzou.
News of the abduction came after the radical Islamic State group called on Muslims to kill citizens of countries taking part in the US-led anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq, which includes France.
The Algerian news website El Ahdath reported the Frenchman was kidnapped by a “terrorist group” - the term used by authorities to refer to armed Islamists.