News / Africa

7 Foreigners Kidnapped in Northern Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria mapLagos, Nigeria map
x
Lagos, Nigeria map
Lagos, Nigeria map
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid