German engineers shot dead in Nigeria | News | DW | 31.12.2014
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German engineers shot dead in Nigeria

The German Foreign Office has disclosed that two Germans have been killed in Nigeria. The men were shot dead last Saturday while making a private outing on a motorbike, according to northern German newspaper.

The Ostsee Zeitung newspaper on Wednesday identified the men as engineers aged 34 and about 20 years older who worked with the large Nigerian construction company Julius Berger. It's international arm has its headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Both originated from Germany's northeastern state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, the newspaper said.

The Foreign Office provided no further details, saying the German embassy in Abuja was seeking clarification in close contact with Nigerian authorities.

'Cattle rustlers'

A source at Julius Berger's head office in Abuja told Deutsche Welle "two expatriate Germans" were killed last Saturday while riding a motorcycle near the capital.

Correspondent Uwais Abubakar Idris of DW's Hausa language service said the pair appeared to have surprized cattle rustlers while touring on a "powerbike" near the village of Rinji.

It lies in a hilly, forested area in Buwari District, which has become popular for outdoor activities. Nigerian police were expected to release details on Thursday.

Shock in German home town

Gerd Scharmberg, the mayor of the 34-year-old's home town of Born - on the Mecklenburg peninsula of Darss - said local residents were shocked by the news from Nigeria.

"There is enormous sense of commiseration here locally," he said.

The engineer had visited Born only eight weeks ago, Scharmberg added.

Previous incident

Last October, gunmen shot dead a German construction expert in Nigeria's southwestern state of Ogun while Julius Berger employees were being driven to work.

A second German, a sub-contractor to Julius Berger, was abducted by the gunmen and released a week later.

Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has operated in Nigeria since 1965, working mainly on infrastructure projects, and has a staff of 18,000 personnel.

Its German branch, Julius Berger International (JBI), is based in Wiesbaden and has 600 employees assigned in Nigeria.

In 2012, Julius Berger Nigeria began a literacy campaign within Nigerian secondary schools.

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