News / Africa

7 Foreigners Kidnapped in Northern Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria mapLagos, Nigeria map
x
Lagos, Nigeria map
Lagos, Nigeria map
Heather Murdock
Police say seven foreign construction workers were kidnapped and one Nigerian guard was killed during an attack on a police station, a prison and an international construction company in Bauchi State in northern Nigeria.  

They say “hoodlums” kidnapped four Lebanese construction workers along with three Europeans - one Greek, one British and one Italian - after killing a civilian guard at their company's compound.

Bauchi State Police spokesperson Hassan Muhammed Auyo says the attacks started Saturday night, shortly after 9 p.m.  He says the attackers tossed explosives into the police station and officers fought back.  Two cars were destroyed, gunfire was exchanged, and the gunmen moved on to their next target: the local prison.

“After fire for fire with hoodlums they couldn’t succeed," said Auyo. "They proceed into prison yard in the same Jama'are area to attack with the intent of freeing the inmates there. But unfortunately to them, and fortunately to us we also repelled that attack.”

Auyo says the gunmen then fled to the compound of Setraco Nigeria Ltd., an international construction company, and killed a civilian security guard before kidnapping the seven foreign staff members.

Auyo says as of Sunday afternoon, the location of the victims was not known.

“The investigation is ongoing to track where the fleeing suspects or the victims are," said Auyo. "For both the kidnappers and the victims, police are making a frantic effort to ensure that we get there and ensure them, God willing.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings but Boko Haram, a northern Nigerian Islamist militant group is known for targeting prisons and police stations.
However, some locals say they believe the perpetrators were motivated by money, not extremism. They say the raid on the police station and prison was intended to distract security forces so they could kidnap the foreigners, a practice that has long earned kidnappers millions of dollars in Nigeria.

Boko Haram is a shadowy militant group that has been blamed for more than 3,000 deaths since it began its insurgency in 2009. Late last month, what is believed to be a faction of the group announced a unilateral cease-fire, but violence in northern Nigeria continues.  

Ardo Hazzad contributed to this report from Bauchi state, Nigeria.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid