Gunmen abduct seven foreign workers in Nigeria

Gunmen stormed a Lebanese-owned construction site in northern Nigeria, kidnapping seven foreign workers and killing a security guard, police said Sunday.

Two Lebanese, an Italian and a Greek have been confirmed by their governments to be among those seized in the attack late Saturday on the Lebanese-owned Setraco construction site in the town of Jama'are in Bauchi State.

"From the report we have received, the hostages are seven in all. They include four Lebanese, an Italian, a Briton and a Greek," Bauchi state police spokesman Hassan Auyo said.

However there has been no confirmation that a Briton was among those kidnapped, nor that the number of Lebanese was four.

"We are aware of reports and are making enquiries with the local authorities," Britain's Foreign Office said.

The Lebanese foreign ministry said two of its citizens were among those seized, while officials in Athens and Rome have confirmed that a Greek citizen and an Italian were kidnapped.

Bauchi is among the states in northern Nigeria attacked repeatedly by Islamists from the Boko Haram group, but it was not clear if they were behind the latest violence.

Bauchi's police chief Mohammed Ladan said a security guard was shot dead in the raid in Jama'are, which lies about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the state capital Bauchi city.

Setraco Nigeria, a construction and civil engineering company, is a subsidiary of Setraco International Holding group.

The Nigerian company, which was established in 1977, is currently working on expanding a major road in northern Nigeria.

The attack on the construction site came after the same gunmen were repelled while trying to storm a police station and a prison in the town, the police chief further explained.

Gunmen launched a similar attack on a police station in the town of Kafin Madaki, 40 kilometres from the state capital, triggering a shootout, but Ladan did not provide any casualty figures.