Gunmen kidnap German in Nigeria | News | DW | 16.04.2018
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Gunmen kidnap German in Nigeria

The German national was working at a construction site in northern Nigeria. Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria.

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.

Read more: German aid worker kidnapped in Niger 

"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.

Read more: Nigeria: Kidnapped schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram 

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. 

Northeastern 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.  

Read more: Boko Haram has abducted over 1,000 kids since 2013: UN 

cw/msh (AFP, dpa)

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