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French citizen kidnapped in Nigeria, energy firm says

By CNN Staff
updated 8:12 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Green energy firm Vergnet says a French staffer has been kidnapped in Nigeria
  • The abduction occurred near Katsina in northern Nigeria, a spokeswoman says
  • No claim of responsibility or demand has yet been made, she says
  • The U.S. State Department warns of a kidnapping risk in several states in Nigeria

(CNN) -- A French national working for green energy firm Vergnet has been kidnapped in Nigeria, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

The kidnapping is believed to have taken place overnight, and the company is in touch with the French Foreign Ministry as well as the French Embassy in Nigeria, Vergnet spokeswoman Jennifer Julia said.

Opinion: Nigeria is a sinking ship, but we must not desert it

The abduction occurred in Rimi, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Katsina, in northern Nigeria, she said.

No claim of responsibility or demand has been made so far, Julia said.

Vergnet has taken additional security measures for all its employees working abroad, she added.

Read more: Could it finally be springtime for Nigeria?

The U.S. State Department warns U.S. citizens against travel to a number of states in Nigeria because of the risk of kidnappings, robberies and other armed attacks.

The mother of the Nigerian finance minister was seized from her home in a high-profile kidnapping earlier this month. Kamene Okonjo was released unharmed after being held for five days.

CNN's Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.

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