Page last updated at 18:23 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

French aid worker seized in Chad

Map of Chad

A French employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been abducted by armed men in eastern Chad, the organisation says.

The ICRC said it was temporarily suspending operations in the area.

It said its employee, Laurent Maurice, had been seized late on Monday in the village of Kawa, about 20km (12 miles) from the border with Sudan.

The humanitarian organisation said it had no idea who the attackers were or what their motive might be.

It called for the "rapid and unconditional release of its kidnapped staff member".

The French foreign ministry also called for Mr Maurice to be freed.

The aid worker, an agronomist, was in Kawa with five Chadian colleagues to evaluate the harvest, the ICRC said.

Attacks against non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are frequent in eastern Chad.

The region is home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people, including many made homeless by conflicts in Sudan's western Darfur region and the Central African Republic.

Another Frenchman working for the ICRC, Gauthier Lefevre, was abducted in Darfur on 22 October. He is still being held.

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