The US embassy in Niamey has confirmed the abduction of an American citizen in southern Niger.
The man was kidnapped by gunmen in the village of Massallata, Birnin Konni, near the border with Nigeria on Tuesday
In a statement, the embassy says the US government urges the “immediate and safe” release of the victim adding that it is working tirelessly with the authorities in Niger to secure his release.
The US government is also in communication with the victim’s family, the statement says.
Some reports suggest six gunmen on motorbikes with AK-47 assault rifles kidnapped him from his rural home in southern Niger, leaving his wife, daughter and brother in the home.
The man is said to have lived in the village for several years keeping camels, sheep and poultry as well as growing mango trees.
It’s not yet clear who seized the American man. But Niger is battling various armed groups; and in that area – just across the border in Nigeria, kidnapping for ransom is rampant.
In August, six French aid workers as well as their driver and local guide were killed by gunmen in the Koure area of Niger’s Tillebery region, which attracts tourists who want to see the last herds of giraffe in West Africa.