Bloomberg News

German Engineer Abducted in Northern Nigeria, Police Say

January 26, 2012

(Updates with details of the kidnapping from the second paragraph.)

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- A German engineer was abducted in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano today by unknown attackers, police said, less than a week after coordinated bomb and gun attacks in the city killed as many as 256 people.

The German employee of Dantata & Sawoe Construction Co., a Nigerian company, was handcuffed and placed in the trunk of the attacker’s car, Musa Majiya, a police spokesman in the city said by phone, without saying how the police obtained the information.

Calls made by Bloomberg to the phone numbers posted on the company’s website didn’t go through.

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which draws its inspiration from Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, is responsible for a surge in violence in the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer.

The group, whose name means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, claimed responsibility for the Kano attacks on Jan. 20 that killed at least 256 people, according to Nigeria’s Civil Rights Congress. Police in the city put the official death toll at 184.

Unknown gunmen had kidnapped in May two foreigners, a British citizen and an Italian, in the northern town of Birnin Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi state. In August, the French news agency Agence France-Presse said it received a video claiming that the two hostages were kidnapped by al-Qaeda. The U.K. High Commission said then that it was checking whether the video is authentic.

--With assistance from Maram Mazen in Abuja. Editors: Terry Atlas, John Walcott

To contact the reporter on this story: Mustapha Muhammad in Kano at mmuhammad5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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