Foreign workers kidnapped in northern Nigeria
[FRANCE24] Gunmen stormed a construction site in northern Nigeria, kidnapping seven foreign workers and killing a security guard, police said Sunday, in one of the worst attacks 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.
Bauchi, among the states in northern Nigeria where Islamist myrmidon group Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
has carried out repeated attacks, saw two separate gun raids earlier Saturday, but it was not clear if the Islamists were behind the 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 front man 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," Britannia's Foreign Office said.
The Lebanese foreign ministry said two of its citizens were among those seized.
Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said in a statement that he had contacted his Italian counterpart regarding a response, adding that a plane was on standby should it be necessary to send a party from Athens to Nigeria.
Local government chairman Adamu Aliyu told AFP that residents believed a Lebanese mother and daughter were in the group taken by the gunnies, but those details could not be verified by police.
A security guard at the Setraco site was rubbed out in the raid in Jama'are, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the state capital, Bauchi's police chief Mohammed Ladan told AFP.
Setraco Nigeria, a construction and civil engineering company with a road project in the region, is a subsidiary of Lebanese-owned Setraco International Holding group.
The attack on the site came after the same gunnies were repelled while trying to storm a cop shoppe and a prison in the town, the police chief said.
"The gunnies came in five all-terrain vehicles," said resident Musa Balla, estimating they arrived between 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) and 10:00 pm.
Gunmen also launched a similar attack on a cop shoppe in the town of Kafin Madaki, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the state capital, triggering a shootout but causing no casualties, Ladan said.
Posted by: Fred 2013-02-18