Diplomatic and security sources confirmed on Friday, May 3, that two French tourists have been kidnapped in northwestern Benin. According to officials, the tourists have been missing since Wednesday, May 1, when their vehicle was found burned and their driver shot near the border with Burkina Faso. Media sources reported that the victims were returning to Pendjari National Park (Atakora department) when they were attacked. As of Sunday, May 5, no group has claimed responsibility for the abduction and security forces have been deployed into the region to find the victims. Details are still emerging.
Militant groups are not regularly active in Benin; however, terrorism has become an increasingly severe threat in Burkina Faso. Some Western government have advised citizens from traveling to northern areas of the country along the border with Burkina Faso and Niger.
Individuals in Benin, particularly in Atakora department, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence near the Burkina Faso border, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
As a precaution, individuals are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc.
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