An Algerian regional governor kidnapped near the border with Libya is being held by al Qaeda's north African branch, two Algerian security officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The governor is in the hands of AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), who have already contacted his parents, said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Louise Ireland)