Five French nationals abducted in Niger

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 17, 2010 01:10 hrs

Five French nationals have been abducted in Niger, France's foreign ministry has said.

'According to our information, seven people, including five French employees of Areva and Satom companies were abducted in the Arlit region in Niger,' ministry spokesman Bernard Valero was quoted as saying Thursday by Xinhua.

The two others are from Togo and Madagascar.

Areva is a nuclear power company and Satom is a construction and engineering firm.

Two hostages were confirmed by Areva as its staff working in the region's uranium mines, while the others were staff of Satom.

Niger government spokesman Laouali Dan Dah said authorities have taken measures to trace the kidnappers and rescue the hostages.

Arlit in the Sahara region is located about 1,200 km northeast of Niamey, capital of Niger, and is known for large uranium mines.

Areva employees working in Niger have been abducted in the past.

In 2008, four of its employees - all French nationals - were kidnapped by rebel group Movement for Justice, which opposes the mining of ancestral lands.

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