Monday, August 15, 2022

Nigerian authorities search for abducted Chinese citizens, others

Authorities in Nigeria’s central Niger state are searching for gunmen who attacked a mine this week and kidnapped several people, including four Chinese citizens. Nigerian media reported the attack on Wednesday killed an unknown number of workers. This is the second time this year that Chinese workers have been abducted in the state as uncertainty spreads in Nigeria.

Niger State Police Commissioner Bala Kuryas on Monday said reinforcements had been sent to the Shiroro local government area, where the Ajata Aboki mine site is located.

Gunmen attacked the site on Wednesday, firing on operators and killing an unspecified number while kidnapping workers, including four Chinese citizens.

Kuryas said the mine site is far in the forest and that some security officers, including the army, police and local vigilantes, responded immediately to an emergency call from the site and ran after the attackers.

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He said four police officers were killed but did not disclose how many military personnel and vigilantes were affected. He also said security officers had killed some of the gunmen.

“For now, we are on their trail. Some of them have been neutralized,” Kuryas told VOA. “We are still figuring out the exact number, this is the update for now, we are still investigating, the army I can not speak on their behalf.”

China’s embassy in Nigeria did not make an official statement on the incident and was not available for comment Friday.

State Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello called the attack disturbing and urged security officials not to give in in efforts to restore peace in the state.

Abuja-based security expert Patrick Agbambu said, given the record of attacks in the state, authorities should have been more vigilant.

“Because I knew the state of Niger had been a hotbed of such attacks lately, I expected more security to be in place,” he said. “Foreign nationals are considered as more lucrative persons to become kidnapped enemy ransom and for attention, it is going to celebrate high tide and just maybe Nigeria will become unsafe for business.”

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Nigeria sees a spate of attacks in various regions and analysts say foreign workers and citizens are often targets of criminal gangs who want to enforce large payments from employers.

In January, three Chinese citizens, who were working on a hydroelectric power project in Shiroro, were abducted.

Beijing has warned citizens working in Nigeria to be vigilant in areas prone to attacks. In May, Chinese officials and representatives of local Chinese companies in Nigeria held talks on security issues.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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