Islamist group claims kidnap of foreigners in Nigeria

February 18, 2013 16:53

KANO, Nigeria - An Islamist group linked to al-Qaida claimed responsibility on Monday for kidnapping seven foreigners in an attack in a remote Nigerian town at the weekend, when raiders used explosives to blast their way into a housing compound in a hail of gunfire.

Gunmen killed a security guard and abducted a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers after storming the compound of Lebanese construction firm Setraco in Jama'are in Bauchi state late on Saturday.

It was the worst case of foreigners being kidnapped in the mostly Muslim north of Africa's most populous country since an insurgency by Islamist militants intensified two years ago.

"By Allah's grace (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.

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