Authorities in Madagascar say a French boy was abducted from outside his school in the southwest of the country.

Hajatiana Ralaikoto, a police official in the town of Toliara, said Wednesday that four men grabbed the 12-year-old on Tuesday.

Ralaikoto says the motive was not clear. He says the boy comes from a family with South Asian roots and may hold other nationalities in addition to his French citizenship.

The French ambassador, Francois Goldblatt, referred to the kidnapping on Twitter, saying "a new and even more unacceptable boundary" had been crossed.

There have been a number of high-profile cases of kidnapping, apparently for ransom, in Madagascar over the last few months. The government of the Indian Ocean nation has been under pressure to deal with a perception of rising insecurity.