American seized in Chad

The Associated Press

N'DJAMENA, Chad A Libyan-backed rebel group claims to have taken an American captive, saying it wants to show that Chad's president cannot control security in the country.

The missing American was identified as Anthony Johnson, a technical consultant for the U.N. Development Program, U.N. spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said Wednesday in New York.

Johnson was taken Sunday from his home in the city of Mao, Fawzi said.

U.S. Embassy officials have traveled to the region to try to work with local officials for his release, State Department deputy spokeswoman Christine Shelly said in Washington.

''The government of Chad has given its full cooperation in the effort,'' she said.

Fawzi said the United Nations was also working for his release.

An official at the American Embassy in Chad said Johnson's Malian driver and two Chadian guards also disappeared. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no ransom demands had been received.

The group claiming responsibility for the abduction, Movement for Democracy and Development, is one of several fighting the government of Idriss Deby, who seized power in November 1990 after leading an invasion from Sudan.

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