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U.S. official: American kidnapped in Benin

From Jamie Crawford, CNN
updated 10:13 PM EDT, Sun May 27, 2012
  • U.S. diplomatic officials are providing "consular assistance," a U.S. official says
  • It's not clear when, where or why the person was abducted
  • Benin is a country of about 9 million people in West Africa

(CNN) -- A U.S. citizen has been kidnapped in the West African nation of Benin, a U.S. State Department official said Sunday.

The official, who asked not to be named given the sensitivity of the situation, said that U.S. diplomatic officials are providing "consular assistance" in the case. Authorities have not indicated when or under what circumstances the person was kidnapped, nor have they identified the abductee.

"Due to privacy considerations, we cannot provide additional information," the official said.

The former French colony of Benin is a country of about 9 million people that has a small coastline on the Gulf of Guinea. "The United States and Benin have had an excellent history of relations in the years since Benin embraced democracy" in 1990, according to a U.S. State Department website.