U.S. aid worker kidnapped in Niger, U.S. Embassy says

ABALAK, Niger, Oct. 15 (UPI) — An unknown group of armed assailants kidnapped an American in the Tahoua region of Niger on Friday, officials said.

The U.S. Embassy in Niger released a message to U.S. citizens about the kidnapping and warned the threat of kidnapping and hostage taking in the area remains high.

Witnesses saw assailants force the victim, described as a U.S. aid worker, to strip off his clothes before forcing him into a four-wheel drive vehicle, a government source told CNN.

Niger’s interior ministry also said the abductors killed a police officer and the American’s bodyguard while storming his home.

The kidnapping was the first time a foreigner had been abducted in the area and no claim of responsibility has been made.

The U.S. Embassy encouraged U.S. citizens traveling to Niger to take steps to enhance personal safety and remain vigilant while in the region.

“The U.S. Embassy continues to take this threat seriously and advises U.S. citizens to take appropriate security precautions and to avoid predictable travel patterns within Niger,” the Embassy said.

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