American taken hostage in Niger

American taken hostage in Niger

A U.S. citizen was taken hostage by gunmen in Niger early Tuesday morning. 

“We are aware of a U.S. citizen abducted in Niger,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News. “We are providing their family all possible consular assistance.”

A local official told the Associated Press that Philipe Nathan Walton was taken from his farm in southern Niger at 1:45 a.m., and that the gunmen are now demanding ransom from his father. 

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The State Department is working with local authorities to locate Walton. 

The attack has not yet been claimed, but Niger recently faced multiple attacks from extremist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaida. 

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In August, six French citizens and two Nigerians were murdered by Islamic State extremists while touring a giraffe reserve in the West African Nation. 

Extremist groups in Niger are believed to be holding seven foreign hostages currently.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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