Be at alert for possible revenge kidnapping in Benin, says France

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Paris has warned visitors to Benin Republic to be on high alert for possible revenge kidnappings or attacks over France’s action in Mali.

A travel advisory posted on the French foreign ministry’s website says that France’s intervention in Mali “may have repercussions on the security of French residents or tourists” in Benin and other nations in the 15-member ECOWAS bloc of west African states which includes Mali and Nigeria.

“While the Beninese authorities are taking particular pains to monitor exposed areas, there is a risk of kidnapping or attacks in Benin,” the site warns, urging visitors to be on “high alert” and avoid northeastern Benin, which borders Nigeria.

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The abduction on Tuesday of seven members of the same French family from Cameroon was blamed on Nigerian Islamists.

The kidnapping brought to 15 the number of French hostages being held in Africa.

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