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French nationals kidnapped in Niger

Two French nationals have been kidnapped at gunpoint in Niger's capital, witnesses said.

Hamadou Djaoga was dining inside the Flotille when he says he saw two men walk in, pull out guns and tell the French citizens to follow them. Outside two more men were waiting and they forced them into a truck and sped off.

Niger has become a kidnapping hub for al-Qaida's North Africa branch which in September seized five French citizens from a uranium mining town.

Djaoga and other patrons say the turbaned men were wearing the attire common in the country's northern desert among the Tuareg people who have been involved in past al-Qaida kidnappings. They spoke French and Arabic.

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