German Engineer Abducted in Northern Nigeria

Posted January 26th, 2012 at 5:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Gunmen in Nigeria have abducted a German engineer in the northern city of Kano, where multiple bombings last week killed at least 185 people.

The Kano police commissioner said Thursday the German man was handcuffed and put into the trunk of a car. He was taken from a construction site where he was working for a Nigerian company.

Police say they are investigating, and German Foreign Ministry officials say they are also looking into the matter.

The man's employers have not commented.

The kidnapping comes as Nigeria's new police chief takes office amid rising violence largely blamed on the militant group, Boko Haram.

A fresh bombing Thursday struck a bus station in Kano, in a Christian neighborhood. News reports say five people were injured.

President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday named Mohammed Abubakar to the top police post, calling it “a first step” toward revamping the entire police force and making it better able to deal with “emerging internal security challenges.”

Mr. Jonathan has been criticized for failing to stop the recent rise in attacks.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is divided between the mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south. The country has endured spates of sectarian violence over the years, although some of the conflict stems from economic and political factors as well.