Kidnapped Germans freed in Nigeria
KADUNA, Nigeria — Nigerian security agents have freed two German archaeologists kidnapped by gunmen at a remote dig, the governor of northern Kaduna state said Sunday.
The two academics were taken to the German Embassy in Abuja and were doing well considering the circumstances, according to the German Foreign Ministry.
Gov. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai “commended the security agencies for their efforts in securing the release of the Germans,” said a statement. It did not say whether anyone has been arrested in the kidnapping.
Gunmen had been demanding a ransom of about $200,000 for the release of professor Peter Breunig and his assistant, Johannes Behringer. The two were abducted at gunpoint Wednesday and walked into the bush from an archaeological dig near Jenjela village in Kaduna state. Two villagers who tried to help the Germans were shot and killed by the kidnappers, police said.
Breunig, 65, and Behringer, in his 20s, are part of a four-person team from Frankfurt’s Goethe University. The other two members, both women, were not touched by the kidnappers. The Germans were collaborating with Nigeria’s National Commission for Museum and Monuments to recover relics of the Nok culture.