Islamist Group Claims Kidnap of Lebanese, Foreigners in Nigeria

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The Islamist group Ansaru on Monday claimed the kidnapping of seven foreigners, including two Lebanese, in a deadly raid on a construction site in northern Nigeria at the weekend.

In an email statement distributed to several journalists, the group said it has "the custody of seven persons, which include Lebanese and their European counterparts working with Setraco," the Lebanese-owned company targeted in the attack.

The group’s announcement came as a construction worker, who insisted on anonymity, said the gunmen let the Nigerian household staff members go in the attack in the town of Jama'are in Bauchi state late Saturday.

The gunmen shot dead a guard at the camp before kidnapping the foreign workers.

They came from the back of the building, as security guarded the front, he said.

The attack was one of the worst incidents targeting foreigners in northern Nigeria, a region that has seen waves of violence by extremist Islamist groups, but relatively few kidnappings.

Ansaru is considered a new group with a rising profile after it claimed the abduction of a French national in December and some view it as being directly linked to Boko Haram, the Islamist insurgents blamed for killing hundreds of people in northern Nigeria since 2009.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said Sunday only two Lebanese - Imad al-Indari and Carlos Abu Aziz - were among the abducted foreigners.

But police in Bauchi said four Lebanese, one Briton, a Greek citizen and an Italian were among those taken hostage by gunmen who stormed the site.

Ansaru's two-paragraph statement cites "the transgressions and atrocities done to the religion of Allah... by the European countries in many places such as Afghanistan and Mali.”

Residents in Jama'are, about 200 kilometers from the state capital, said Setraco had evacuated all of its staff from the company compound on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how many of the remaining workers were foreign and an official at Setraco's office in Nigeria's capital declined to comment, also refusing to provide contacts for the company spokesman.

Comments 9
Thumb geha 18 February 2013, 16:11

and that is not a racist comment!

Thumb geha 18 February 2013, 18:20

unlike you, I work and live in Lebanon :) so it is a miss, and the hypocrite is you.
your understanding of racism is futile, so please go and check its meaning.

Thumb geha 18 February 2013, 16:13

extremists of all sides are to be rejected and fought.

Thumb lebanon_first 18 February 2013, 18:26

these dinosaur brains are kidnapping lebanese working in a lebanese company, building them infrastructure in their backward country to retaliate against what? against the american invasion of afghanistan and mali. What The F....?

These are the guys we have to do a sit in to get released. Not for the criminal georges abdallah or the "pilgrims". These are the hard working lebanese bringing hard currency to the country. These are our heroes and we have to fight to get them released.

Missing zanzibar 18 February 2013, 22:32

Lebanon is an even more backward county it appears, why else are so many of our brethren living in african countries such as "backward nigeria". And they arent exactly there building infrastructure for the nigerians, they are there making money by often comitting fraud and other crimes in their host countries. So lets not be racist as if we are better than them.

Missing zanzibar 18 February 2013, 22:21

These type of fake islamists, maybe your right but not about islamists in general who have built schools, orphan houses, clinics, sport centers, charity organizations and so on. These people do not practice islam so i don't even know why they are referred to as islamists.

Thumb kanaandian 18 February 2013, 22:26

because they demand a sharia state for muslims only???

Missing zanzibar 18 February 2013, 22:36

Our government needs to work on their release NOW!

Default-user-icon Zergondo Vaksobel (Guest) 19 February 2013, 08:18

How kind of you to call them "Islamist" huh! Could "Islamist" possibly refer to Vardakouchi Muslims by any chance? How about Empotazi Muslims? Or maybe Ajoubani Muslims? Oh, I bet these "Islamists" are a combination of all those, and this is why "we" cannot specify one specific crazy sect among them? I hope one enlightened gabbaguybo can enlighten us a tiny bit! Perhaps we shall discover the puzzle regarding these "Islamist" nut cases. I just pray they they are not Sunnis, God forbid! They're just getting crazier and crazier and crazier!