State Department Confirms Abduction Of US Citizen In Niger

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The State Department confirmed in a Tuesday statement that a U.S. citizen was abducted in Niger, CNN reported.

“We are aware of a US citizen abducted in Niger,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN. “We are providing their family all possible consular assistance.” (RELATED: 6 People Charged For Plotting To Kidnap Michigan Governor)

Philipe Nathan Walton was abducted from his farm at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, said Ibrahim Abba Lele, an official in the town of Birni-N’Konni, according to the Associated Press.

Abdourahamane Moussa, the governor of the region where Walton was abducted, said that six men on motorbikes rode up to Walton’s property in the village of Massalata in southern Niger armed with AK47s.

The kidnappers called Walton’s father, who lives about half a mile away from the farm, and demanded a ransom, Abba Lele said according to the Associated Press.

The governor told several local and Frech media outlets that the men headed towards the border of Nigeria after kidnapping Walton, CNN reported.

“When a US citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can,” the State Department spokesperson told CNN.  “The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.” (RELATED: Man Charged With Threatening To Kidnap Joe Biden, Kamala Harris And Kill Them)
“We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to US citizens in need and to their families,” the spokesperson added. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment at this time.”