A masked leader of the Base Cameroon gang (Reuters)

French president Francois Hollande has confirmed that seven French tourists, including four children, have been kidnapped by unidentified assailants on motorbikes in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria.

Hollande said that the group of holidaymakers, who were members of the same family, had been seized by a known Nigerian-based "terrorist group".

Reports are surfacing that the captives have been taken over the border into Nigeria.

Speculation is high that the kidnappers were with extreme jihadists Boko Haram.

Waza national park is just 150 miles from the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, considered the cradle and the stronghold of the Islamist terrorists. In January, Nigerian militants beheaded five people in the city, a month suspected militants slit the throats of 15 Christians in the area.

At least 23 other people have been killed in separate attacks in northern Nigeria which have been blamed on militants who wants to impose Sharia law on Nigeria.

The insurgency was launched by Boko Haram in Maiduguri in 2009, but a second militant group, Ansaru, emerged in 2012.

A source said that the seven tourists were captured in the area of Dadanga. "Clearly, the tourists were returning from Waza National Park," the source said.

"They slept in the park's tourist camp where they left this morning [Tuesday]."

Security forces were hunting for the kidnappers along the entire length of the border with Nigeria, according to the source.

"If everything is confirmed, this signifies that the fight against terrorist groups is a necessity," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Paris. "There is a battle to be led by the international community against terrorist groups and narco-terrorists."

Cameroon information minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said he could not confirm the report.

It is the first time that Western tourists have been kidnapped in Cameroon.