Nigeria Police Hunt Gunmen That Seized Seven Foreigners

Nigerian police are seeking gunmen who kidnapped seven foreigners and killed a security guard at a construction company in Nigeria’s northeastern Bauchi state, police said.

Three Lebanese, including a woman, were seized along with a Filipino, a Greek, an Italian and a U.K. national in the attack on a residential compound of construction company Setraco Nigeria Ltd. on Feb. 16 in Jama’are, some 200 kilometers north of Bauchi city, police spokesman Hassan Mohammed said. Initial information received by the police indicated four Lebanese and no Filipinos among those abducted.

“We’re still searching for these hoodlums and we will get them,” he said and declined to give further details.

Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group, has carried out gun and bomb attacks in the north and the capital, Abuja, killing hundreds since 2009. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 160 million people, is roughly split between the largely Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south.

Another Islamist group, which identifies itself as Ansaru, said it was responsible for the Dec. 20 abduction of a French engineer, Frances Colump, in the northern city of Katsina.

A British citizen and an Italian seized last year from the northwestern town of Birnin Kebbi were killed in the city of Sokoto in March by their captors during a failed rescue attempt by U.K. and Nigerian forces. Nigerian authorities accused Boko Haram of the abduction though the group denied any involvement.

A German engineer kidnapped in the northern city of Kano in January last year was killed by his captors on May 30 when security forces made an attempt to rescue him.

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