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Seven Foreign Nationals Abducted In Nigeria

Unidentified gunmen have abducted seven foreign nationals from a construction site in Nigeria's northern Bauchi state, media reports citing local officials said late on Sunday.

They reportedly seized the foreign nationals in a raid at Jama'are in Bauchi state, killing one security guard. The abducted workers included two Lebanese, a Filipino, an Italian and a Greek.

Nationalities of the remaining two are yet to be confirmed. British Foreign Ministry said it was currently looking into reports suggesting that one of them might be a Briton.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for what is now considered to be the biggest kidnapping in northern Nigeria in recent times, local officials are blaming the radical Boko Haram Islamist sect active in the region.

Boko campaigns against Western education, which it considers as anti-Islamic. The sect favors strict enforcement of Islamic laws in Nigeria after overthrowing the current government. An estimated 3,000 people have been killed in Nigeria since the terror outfit began its campaign of violence in 2009.

Kidnappings for ransom have been common in southern Nigeria in recent years. Those abductions are carried out by armed militant groups which claim that they are fighting the federal government to procure a larger share of the Niger Delta region's vast oil wealth for the local population.

Notably, Northern Nigeria has also witnessed its share of such kidnappings in recent years, including the abduction of a French engineer in the northern state of Katsina in December. Later, al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group calling itself 'Ansaru' claimed his abduction, saying that it was in retaliation to France's ongoing military intervention in Mali.

by RTT Staff Writer

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