Bloomberg News

Gunmen in Nigeria Abduct French National in Katsina City

December 20, 2012

Gunmen in Nigeria abducted a French national from his home in the northern city of Katsina and killed two other people in the compound, a police official said.

The attackers also fired into a nearby police station and attempted to free detained suspects before they fled, Katsina state Commissioner Abdullahi Magaji said today by phone. “We have commenced an investigation of the incident,” he said.

The incident is the latest in a growing number of abductions in northern Nigeria targeting Western nationals. A British citizen and an Italian seized last year from the northwestern town of Birnin Kebbi were killed in the city of Sokoto in March by their captors during a joint raid by British and Nigerian forces to free them.

A German engineer kidnapped in the northern city of Kano in January was killed by his captors on May 30 when an attempt was made by security forces to release him.

Africa’s top oil producer, split roughly between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south, has seen a surge of bomb and gun attacks claimed by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. The group, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” want to impose Islamic rule in Africa’s most populous country of more than 160 million people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at

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