Seven foreign nationals have been kidnapped in Nigeria after a group of armed gunman stormed the compound of a Lebanese construction company.
The attack occurred Saturday night in Jama're, a town in a rural portion of the Bauchi state. The gunmen first entered the town of Jama're and attacked a local prison before heading to a police station and setting two police trucks on fire. Afterwards, they entered the compound of Setraco, a construction company that had been hired to build a roadway in the area. Once inside the compound, they killed a security guard and took seven foreign workers hostage. Mohammed Laden, the Baurchi police chief, told Al Jazeera:
We repelled the attack on police station and the security men at the prison yard also repelled the attack, but they burnt two vehicles in Jama'are police station. They then attacked Setraco construction, killed a local security guard and they succeeded in kidnapping people.
Adamu Aliyu, chairman of the local government, told the Associated Press four Lebanese, one British citizen, one Greek and one Italian were kidnapped.
According to a Reuters report, officials with the Italian and Greek foreign ministries have confirmed that one of their citizens were kidnapped during the raid. A spokesman for the British foreign office says they are still investigating the incident.
It has not been uncommon for foreign workers to be kidnapped along the oil rich southern delta region of Nigeria, however attacks in the northern part of the country have become more prevalent recently. According to Fox News, a Lebanese construction worker and another Lebanese national was killed in May of last year. Last month, a German worker was shot and killed by his kidnappers during a rescue attempt.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack and kidnapping at this time, however some are pointing to the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram, a group which wants to see strict Sharia Islamic law imposed throughout Nigeria and who have claimed responsibility for various attacks over the past year and a half. Others believe the Al Qaeda affiliated group Ansaru, who claimed to have kidnapped a French national national in December, is responsible for the attack.