French woman, 25, reported missing in Egypt

CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptian authorities on Saturday launched a nationwide search for a French woman reported missing when she failed to catch a connecting flight the day after she arrived in Cairo, officials told AFP.

The 25-year-old arrived in Cairo from Ghana on Thursday evening and had been due to fly to Basel-Mulhouse airport in France on Friday, airport security officials said.

"The procedure for transits of longer than 12 hours is that immigration authorities keep the passport and take the passenger to a hotel," one official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Airport security had escorted the woman to the nearby four-star Baron hotel after she landed.

"She was meant to go and pick up her passport the following day and fly to France," the official added.

A French embassy official in Cairo, who also asked not to be identified, confirmed the woman had been reported missing after she failed to make her flight.

"The embassy and Paris are working on her case, with the constant cooperation of the Egyptian authorities," the official said.

An Egyptian security official said a nationwide search had been launched to find her.

"She is not being held at any security facility in the country and is not in the custody of any authorities. We are now trying to determine the cause of her disappearance, whether it is kidnap or voluntary," the official said.

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