Gunmen Kidnap 7 Foreigners in Nigeria
Overnight attack blamed on Boko Haram
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 17, 2013 5:50 AM CST
This file image from Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2012, shows the leader of Boko Haram, Imam Abubakar Shekau.   (AP Photo, FIle)

(Newser) – Gunmen attacked a camp for a construction company in rural northern Nigeria, killing a guard and kidnapping seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy, and Lebanon, authorities said today, in the biggest kidnapping yet in a region under attack by Islamic extremists Boko Haram. The overnight attack happened in Jama're, a town in a rural portion of Bauchi state. There, the gunmen first attacked a local prison, burning two police trucks, Bauchi state police spokesman Hassan Muhammed said.

The gunmen then targeted a worker's camp for a construction company called Setraco, which is in the area building a road, Muhammed said. The gunmen shot dead a guard at the camp before kidnapping the foreign workers. Britain's Foreign Office said today it was looking into reports that a UK national had been kidnapped. Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north has been under attack by the radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram in the last year and a half. The sect is blamed for killing at least 729 people in 2012 alone, according to an AP count.