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Niger police confirm kidnap of Frenchman, Algerian

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Police in Niger say armed gunmen believed linked to al-Qaida's North Africa branch have kidnapped one Frenchmen and one Algerian citizen in the north of the country.

The official said the pair, most likely a tourist and his Algerian driver, were taken hostage Thursday near the desert uranium rich town of Arlit, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the Algerian border.

The senior national police officer in Niamey spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry declined comment, saying only that it was aware of the report and investigating. Algerian security and diplomatic officials also did not comment.