Manhunt after gunmen kidnap Chinese nationals in Nigeria
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