Gunmen ambushed two Americans and two Canadians traveling through Nigeria's northern Kaduna state, kidnapping them and killing two policemen, a state police spokesman says. The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday night when they were ambushed around Kagarko, Kaduna state police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu says. "The two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle, which resulted in the unfortunate death of the two police officers," he said. The kidnapped visitors are investors who were setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan, according to Aliyu.
Security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been sent to the area to try to rescue the North Americans and to apprehend their abductors, Aliyu says. Global Affairs Canada spokesman John Babcock says Canadian officials are aware that two citizens were reportedly abducted, the AP reports. The government would not provide details due to privacy issues, he says. Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna-to-Abuja highway. Two German archaeologists were seized at gunpoint last year less than 60 miles northeast of Abuja and later freed unharmed. Sierra Leone's deputy high commissioner was taken at gunpoint on the highway in 2016 and held for five days.