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German worker kidnapped in Nigeria

From Nima Elbagir, CNN
updated 10:28 AM EST, Thu January 26, 2012
Nigerian officers walk outside the police headquarters in the city of Kano on January 24, 2012.
Nigerian officers walk outside the police headquarters in the city of Kano on January 24, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The engineer was abducted from a road project, police say
  • Police had no immediate "clear suspicions"
  • Boko Haram is not known to have previously orchestrated kidnappings of foreign workers
  • Violence last Friday in Kano killed more than 200 people, according to community leaders

Kano, Nigeria (CNN) -- A German worker was kidnapped Thursday in Kano, a northern Nigerian city wracked by violence, police said.

The man, whose name was not given, works for the construction company Dantata and Sawoe, Kano police said.

A spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry said officials were looking into the reports.

The man was abducted from one of the company's road building projects on a bridge on the outskirts of the city, police said.

Officials with Dantata and Sawoe could not be reached immediately for comment.

A manhunt is under way. Police said they had no immediate "clear suspicions" as to whether the kidnapping was carried out by Boko Haram or criminal groups.

Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, is not known to have previously orchestrated the kidnappings of foreign workers.

Abductions by criminal gangs in Nigeria are rife. Most recently, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja confirmed that a U.S. citizen was kidnapped in Nigeria's Delta State.

Violence last Friday in Kano, including bombings and shootings, left more than 200 people dead, according to community leaders in Nigeria's second largest city.

President Goodluck Jonathan toured the city Sunday after attacks left the police headquarters and other government buildings in charred ruins.

A joint military task force arrested 158 suspected members of Boko Haram, security sources told CNN Tuesday.

CNN's Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report.

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