Four Chinese kidnapped in deadly attack in Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen attacked a local mining site in north-central Nigeria, killing “many security personnel” and kidnapping several workers, including four Chinese nationals, authorities said on Thursday.

The attackers raided the mining site on Wednesday evening in the Shiroro council area of ​​the state of Niger, which is prone to such attacks, and opened fire on those present before fleeing with some staffers, including the Chinese, according to Emmanuel Umar, the state security commissioner. .

A security team deployed to respond to the attack “involved the terrorists and there was an undetermined number of casualties from both sides,” Umar said.

Local residents and authorities in Shiroro told The Associated Press that bodies are still being recovered and the death toll remains unclear due to the remoteness of the area. The Niger governor’s office said in another statement that “many security personnel” were killed in the attack.

“Security forces have mobilized reinforcements to the manhunt for the remaining terrorists…and the rescue of the injured victims, including security personnel who suffered varying degrees of injuries, have been taken to a state government medical facility for treatment,” the official said. about the attack in the state bordering Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

Authorities have not released the name of the company, the latest victim of attacks on foreigners in Nigeria over the years, although not as frequent as it used to be. Three Chinese nationals were kidnapped earlier this year in a similar attack in the state of Niger while working at a hydroelectric power station.

In November, Chinese authorities issued a travel advisory warning their citizens and businesses not to travel to ‘risky’ areas in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

Wednesday’s attack is the latest in a cycle of violence that has claimed hundreds of lives over the past year. A growing kidnapping-for-ransom syndrome has also left more victims in captivity for months, including dozens kidnapped in a train attack near the capital in March.

The security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated under President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military general who became president in 2015. Frequent attacks in northwestern and north Nigeria have been blamed on armed groups that authorities say are now working with Islamist extremist rebels in the northeastern part of the country to target remote communities.

Chinedu Asadu, The Associated Press

Leave a Comment