This brings the total to 14 foreigners kidnapped by Boko Haram since Sunday.

(Reuters) – Islamist militants from neighboring Nigeria abducted a French family of seven, including four children, in northern Cameroon on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said.

The risk of attacks on French nationals and interests in Africa has risen since France sent forces into Mali last month to help oust Islamist rebels occupying the country’s north.

“They (French family) have been taken by a terrorist group that we know and that is in Nigeria,” Hollande told reporters during a visit to Greece.

The men on motorcycles, armed with Kalashnikovs, intercepted the family in their car at 0700 GMT and forced them to drive to the nearby Nigerian border, an aide to the governor of the province told Reuters. The four-wheel-drive vehicle was later found abandoned.