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

(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.

This file image from Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2012, shows the leader of Boko Haram, Imam Abubakar Shekau.   (AP Photo, FIle)
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