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German kidnapped in northern Nigeria

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Armed men on Monday kidnapped a German national working for a construction firm in northern Nigeria in an attack that also killed a police officer, police said.

A gang of five men opened fire on a vehicle carrying workers to a construction site as they travelled through Kano city at about 7:45 am (0645 GMT), said police spokesman Magaji Musa Majia.

“The attackers killed one police sergeant attached to (the) special protection unit on escort duty and abducted… a German national working with the company,” he added in a statement.

“A manhunt for the abductors is ongoing.”

Kidnapping for ransom has been a problem for years in southern Nigeria, with the wealthy and influential, including family members of government ministers, regularly abducted for money.

But in recent years the phenomenon has spread to the north, where criminals hit by a government crackdown on cattle rustling, have increasingly taken up the practice.

In January, two Americans and two Canadians were kidnapped in an ambush that killed two of their police escorts in the northern state of Kaduna. They were released several days later.

Two German archaeologists and even the Sierra Leone defence attache have been seized in Kaduna in recent years.



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