7 foreigners kidnapped in Nigeria
updated 8:29 AM EST, Mon February 18, 2013
- The foreigners work for a construction firm in northern Nigeria, police say
- The victims are from Italy, Greece, Lebanon and possibly Britain
- Nigeria has seen a rash of killings and kidnappings
- Violence is blamed on criminal groups or the Islamist militant group Boko Haram
Jos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Seven foreign workers were kidnapped late Saturday from a construction company in northeastern Nigeria, police said.
The workers include one Italian citizen, one Greek citizen and two Lebanese citizens, according to those governments. Nigerian police said a Briton was also kidnapped; British authorities said they were aware of such reports and were making inquiries.
Who are Boko Haram?
The workers were taken Saturday night from the offices of Setraco, a construction company in Jama'are, in Bauchi State, police said. The company is based in Abuja and is involved in many major road construction projects in northern Nigeria.
The gunmen first attacked a prison, burning two police trucks, public service broadcaster Voice of Nigeria reported, citing state police spokesman Hassan Muhammed.
Opinion: Nigerians still waiting for their 'African Spring'
They then killed a guard at the Setraco workers camp before kidnapping the workers, Muhammed told the broadcaster.
Nigeria has seen a rash of killings and kidnappings blamed on criminal groups or the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
A week ago, three North Korean doctors were killed at a hospital in northern Yobe state, the state police chief told CNN. Ten suspects were arrested.
Earlier this month, nine people working for a government polio vaccination program were killed in the northern city of Kano, a police spokesman said.
Opinion: Nigeria is a sinking ship, but we must not desert it
Nigeria launched a military crackdown on Boko Haram on New Year's Day. Security forces have since captured one of the group's leaders and killed 17 suspected Boko Haram members in a two-day offensive.
Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram -- whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" -- has killed more than 2,800 people in an escalating campaign to impose strict Islamic law on largely Muslim northern Nigeria.
Opinion: Why are Nigerians numb to slaughter?
In the past, the group attacked other Muslims it felt were on an immoral path. But it has increasingly targeted Christians with numerous attacks on churches, as well as striking police stations.
Boko Haram and other Muslim groups say the north has been starved of resources and marginalized by the Nigerian government. But the U.S. State Department has accused its leaders of having ties to the al Qaeda terrorist network and of hoping to drive a wedge between Nigeria's Christian and Muslim communities.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:59 PM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
50 years after JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, one expert says Barack Obama visits Berlin at a desperately crucial time.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
In a country caricatured for its deification of soccer, the World Cup, Confederations Cup and FIFA have become symbols of corruption and waste.
updated 8:59 PM EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
A man who silently stood in Taksim Square and stared at a portrait of the founder of the modern Turkish state, drew hundreds to his vigil.
updated 1:26 PM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
As Afghan forces formally take over security of the country, what is likely to be on the table when the U.S. and the Taliban meet for talks?
updated 4:54 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
North Korea's recent belligerence has many in China, its lone ally, saying enough is enough. But would Beijing really cut Kim Jong Un off?
updated 6:47 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
Whether you've a vague fear of Big Brother or a desire to keep your bank information private, there are ways of securing your data.
Among the intriguing pieces of history in Chinese coastal province Fujian are the tulou: large, round, rammed-earth buildings dating back centuries.
updated 11:39 AM EDT, Tue June 18, 2013
NYU did a great favor not only for the Chinese dissident but also for both the U.S. and Chinese governments, writes James Millward.
updated 11:14 PM EDT, Mon June 17, 2013
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is laying low, but that's becoming increasingly difficult. CNN's Ian Lee reports.
updated 7:11 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
Tired of seeing developed nations take the lion's share of profits from his country's coffee crop, this businessman decided on a new plan.
updated 9:22 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
There's a new menace lurking in the streets of London -- exploding sidewalks, which have injured at least 5 people.
updated 6:40 AM EDT, Thu June 13, 2013
Scenes of violent clashes between protesters and police may make visitors to Istanbul think twice. Is it time to cancel your trip?
updated 5:36 AM EDT, Wed June 19, 2013
Who has been voted the world's best airline by passengers at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards?