21 Sep 2010

Troops sent to seek hostages in Niger

9:42 pm on 21 September 2010

France has sent dozens of soldiers to the west African country of Niger to try to find seven hostages, five of them French.

The troops are using reconnaissance planes to search the Sahara desert for the captives, who were seized from their homes in northern Niger on Thursday.

The French government believes they were probably abducted by gunmen from Al Qaeda's north African wing and then taken across the border into Mali.