Five armed men kidnapped a German national and killed a policeman in northern Nigeria, police said on Monday.
Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a vehicle carrying workers to a construction site run by construction company Dantata & Sawoe in Kano city, abducting the German national working for the firm and killing a police escort, said police spokesman Magaji Musa Majia.
“The attackers killed one police sergeant attached to the special protection unit on escort duty and abducted … a German national working with the company,” the spokesman said. “A manhunt for the abductors is ongoing.”
Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria. Armed criminal groups in the oil-producing south have regularly kidnapped oil workers, wealthy people and family members of government ministers to extract payments.
Kidnapping has increasingly spread to the north, where cattle rustlers have turned to the practice after a government crackdown on livestock theft.
Retired army Major Hassan Abdul told DW that a proliferation of small arms combined with poverty and unemployment have contributed to a rise in kidnappings.
North-eastern Nigeria is also the scene of a long-running war between the military and Boko Haram militants, who have abducted more than 1,000 children since 2013, according to UNICEF.
cw/msh (AFP, dpa)/DW