Jan 17, 2018 – Kidnappers abducted an Americans and a Canadian in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.
Kidnappings are rife in Nigeria, where domestic security is weak, though they overwhelmingly target other Nigerians. However, abductions of foreigners are not uncommon.
The Americans and Canadians are investors who were in the country setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan.
Security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been deployed to the area to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended while the two foreigners are rescued unharmed.
The foreigners were ambushed by unknown gunmen on their way from the town of Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital Abuja, Mukhtar Aliyu.
Two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers but were killed during the fierce gun battle.
Kafanchan is about 3-1/2 hours’ drive northeast of Abuja. It is the location of a junction station of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, and it sits on the line connecting Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kafanchan, Kuru, Bauchi, and finally Maiduguri.
Analyst comment: The Abuja-Kaduna road has long been a target for kidnappers. In February 2017, two German archaeologists were abducted in the region, though were later freed. Kidnappers in this region are typically local criminals and herdsmen with the motive of extortion and view foreign businessmen as lucrative targets. Because of the relatively limited infrastructure within the country, foreigners travel in predictable patterns and are easily spotted and targeted. (SCG)