Islamist militants seized five Japanese nationals and a French citizen from an oil facility in Ain Amenas in southern Algeria on Wednesday, local and diplomatic sources told Reuters.

The foreigners were taken from the facility in the morning, they said. There was no immediate confirmation of the abduction from Algerian officials.

French foreign ministry officials said they had no immediate comment on the hostage report and were still trying to verify the information.

(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi in Algiers, additional reporting by Catherine Bremer in Paris; Editing by Jon Boyle)

16/01/2013