Islamist group claims kidnap of foreigners in Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria, Feb 18 (Reuters) - An Islamist group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Monday for the kidnapping of seven foreigners during a night time raid in a remote northern Nigerian town at the weekend.

"(We) have the custody of seven persons, which include Lebanese and their European counterparts working with Setraco," read a statement from Ansaru, a group that has kidnapped other foreigners in Nigeria in the past.

Gunmen killed a security guard and abducted a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers after storming the housing compound of Lebanese construction firm Setraco in Jama'are in Bauchi state late on Saturday. (Reporting by by Chukwuemeka Madu and Isaak Abrak; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Andrew Heavens)