Man­hunt after gun­men kid­nap Chi­nese na­tion­als in Nige­ria

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

LA­GOS — Gun­men have kid­napped two Chi­nese na­tion­als on a road to Nige­ria’s cap­i­tal Abuja, po­lice said yes­ter­day.

Nasarawa state po­lice spokesper­son Is­mail No­man said the for­eign­ers were am­bushed on Satur­day in the vil­lage of Agada on their way to Abuja.

“The Chi­nese na­tion­als were ab­ducted around 14:30 yes­ter­day [Satur­day] on their way to Abuja and taken to an un­known lo­ca­tion,” he said, adding a man­hunt has been launched.

They were said to be work­ing for a com­pany han­dling con­struc­tion projects in the area.

Chi­nese em­bassy of­fi­cials in Nige­ria were not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment.

Kid­nap­ping that tar­gets promi­nent Nige­ri­ans and for­eign­ers, es­pe­cially in the oil-pro­duc­ing south, was rife in the 2000s un­til a 2009 gov­ern­ment amnesty re­duced un­rest in the re­gion.

Mean­while, the United States has warned its cit­i­zens against trav­el­ling to 20 states in Nige­ria, in­clud­ing the in­sur­gency-hit north­east, be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns.

On its web­site, the State De­part­ment said US na­tion­als should “avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states be­cause the se­cu­rity situation in north­east Nige­ria re­mains fluid and un­pre­dictable.”

It said its abil­ity to pro­vide as­sis­tance in those three states was lim­ited, and also named an­other 17 states which should be avoided due to the risk of kid­nap­pings, rob­beries and other armed at­tacks.

US cit­i­zens should be vigilant around gov­ern­ment se­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties, churches, mosques, ho­tels, clubs, bars, restau­rants, mar­kets, shop­ping malls and other ar­eas fre­quented by ex­pa­tri­ates and for­eign trav­ellers, it said.

“Se­cu­rity mea­sures in Nige­ria re­main height­ened due to threats posed by ex­trem­ist groups and US cit­i­zens may en­counter po­lice and mil­i­tary check­points, ad­di­tional se­cu­rity and pos­si­ble road blocks through­out the coun­try,” it added.

Nige­ria is bat­tling a seven-year Boko Haram in­sur­gency in the north­east that has killed some 20 000 and forced 2.6 mil­lion more to flee their homes.

Oil rebels in the Niger delta have also since Fe­bru­ary at­tacked oil pipe­lines and fa­cil­i­ties, hurt­ing out­put and ham­mer­ing rev­enues. — AFP

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