A French citizen kidnapped in Chad on Thursday near the border with Sudan’s Darfur region has been taken into Sudan, a senior Chadian security source said on Friday.
“We have a mixed Chadian-Sudanese force continuing the search,” the source told Reuters.
The man was kidnapped south of Abeche, a mining area about 800 km (500 miles) east of the capital N’Djamena.
There were no immediate reports of any group claiming responsibility or making demands in the area crossed by nomadic groups and rebels fighting the Sudanese government over the border in Darfur.
A source close to the matter said officials were leaning toward a criminal act rather than linking it to militancy.
Europe 1 radio said the man in his sixties had been working for a mining company and was seized carrying the staff’s wages, without giving its sources.
“I confirm that a French citizen was kidnapped in Chad and we are doing everything to find him,” President Francois Hollande told reporters.
“When it comes to hostages it’s best to say the least possible in the interests of the person and the discussions that will take place.”
Madeleine Alingue, spokeswoman for the Chadian government, said search operations were underway.
The last French national kidnapped in Chad was an aid worker taken in the eastern border area in 2009 and released nearly three months later inside Darfur.
The foreign ministry said it was working with local authorities to secure the man’s freedom.