Gunmen have kidnapped a 58-year-old Spanish national from his home in the southeastern city of Enugu, Nigeria. Police say the man was working in Enugu as a doctor.
AFP reports that police spokesman Ebere Amaraeze, said: "The man was abducted from his house last week by some gunmen who took him to an unknown location. We don't want to reveal the details of our operation so as not to jeopardize efforts to free him from his captors."
Vanguard Nigeria reports the man was kidnapped on April 4, and according to Spanish media, he works for a clinic belonging to a foundation supported by the Catholic Opus Dei in Nigeria.
Nigeria's foreign minister told reporters that "The organization he works for has asked for total discretion. It is in the south of the country, not in the north, so there are no political implications of any type."
AFP reports Spain's embassy in Nigeria is working with Nigerian authorities on the case and a Nigerian foreign ministry spokesman said they are in "permanent contact" with the man's family.
There have been several cases of kidnapping for ransom involving armed gangs in the southern oil-producing Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In most cases the hostages are released after payment of ransom. However, Enugu is not part of the turbulent Niger Delta in which cases of kidnap for ransom have been reported in the past. The incident in Enugu is, therefore, unusual and unexpected. Recently in the north of the country, where a bloody Islamic insurgency is ongoing, a British and an Italian hostage were killed after British special forces backed by Nigerian forces attempted to rescue the men.