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Gunmen abduct seven foreign workers in Nigeria

A security guard was killed in the attack, police have said.

The location of the attack
The location of the attack
Image: PA Graphics/PA Graphics/Press Association Images

GUNMEN STORMED A construction site in northern Nigeria, kidnapping seven foreign workers and killing a security guard, police said today, in the latest attack on expatriates in the restive region.

Two Lebanese, an Italian and a Greek have been confirmed by their governments to be among those seized in the attack late Saturday on the Setraco construction site in the town of Jama’are in Bauchi State.

Hostages

Bauchi, among the states in northern Nigeria where Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has carried out repeated attacks, saw two separate gun attacks earlier on Saturday, but it was not clear if the group was behind the weekend violence.

“From the report we have received, the hostages are seven in all. They include four Lebanese, an Italian, a Briton and a Greek,” Bauchi state police spokesman Hassan Auyo said.

There has been no confirmation that a Briton was among those kidnapped nor that the number of Lebanese was four. “We are aware of reports and are making enquiries with the local authorities,” Britain’s Foreign Office said.

The Lebanese foreign ministry said two of its citizens were among those seized, while officials in Athens and Rome confirmed their citizens were kidnapped.

Bauchi’s police chief Mohammed Ladan said a security guard was shot dead in the raid in Jama’are, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the state capital Bauchi city.

Attack

Setraco Nigeria, a construction and civil engineering company, is a subsidiary of Lebanese-owned Setraco International Holding group. The Nigerian subsidiary, which was established in 1977, is currently working on expanding a major road in northern Nigeria.

The attack on the construction site came after the same gunmen were repelled while trying to storm a police station and a prison in the town, the police chief said.

Gunmen also launched a similar attack on a police station in the town of Kafin Madaki, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the state capital, triggering a shootout, Ladan said, adding that “the attackers fled without causing any damage.”

Boko Haram, a group blamed for hundreds of deaths in northern Nigeria since 2009, has claimed several attacks on police stations.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: Gang in police uniforms kills 21 people at Nigerian mosque>

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