Thursday, January 26, 2012

German Engineer Kidnapped in Nigeria

According to police in Kano (Nigeria), where some 184 people were killed last week in violence initiated by the Boko Haram terrorist group, German national Edgar Raupach, a construction engineer with the Nigerian construction company, Dantata and Sawoe, was kidnapped at around 0800 hours on Thursday (January 26).

The abduction occurred when two gunmen approached Raupach at his job site, quickly handcuffed him, placed him in the trunk of their Opel Vectra and drove away. There has been no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping nor a ransom demand.

COMMENT: Despite the fact that Boko Haram has been linked to mass killings in the north, they are best known for mass casualty small arms attacks, not kidnappings. Kano is Nigeria's second-largest city in Nigeria.

It should be noted that unidentified gunmen kidnapped two foreigners, one British and one Italian, in May 2011, in the northern town of Birnin Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi state. In August, the French news agency Agence France-Presse said it received a video claiming that the two hostages were kidnapped by al-Qaeda.

Abductions by criminal gangs are common in Nigeria where the U.S. Embassy in Abuja confirmed that a US citizen had been kidnapped last Friday (January 20) in Nigeria's Delta state.

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