A group of 30 gunmen late Wednesday stormed a residence in Rimi, near Katsina in North-West Nigeria where expatriate workers were staying, and abducted a French citizen after killing two persons.
The abducted engineer had just returned to Nigeria from a trip when he was seized from the residence where engineers for French company, Vergnet, were staying.
His name was not given.
Vergnet, a company that specialises in alternative energy according to its website, is working on a wind power project in Katsina.
Confirming the incident to Agence France Presse, Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Magaji, said, ”I can confirm the abduction of a French national.
“The kidnappers numbering about 30 stormed the residence where the engineers of (French company) Vergnet were staying.”
The commissioner of police also confirmed that a security guard and a neighbour were shot dead in the attack.
Abdullahi said the attack happened at a village called Rimi, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the state capital, Katsina city.
“The gunmen later threw an explosive device into the police station on their way out the town to distract the police from pursuing them,” he added.
Abdullahi, howeever, said he was confident that the extremist Boko Haram sect was not behind the attack and abduction.
This is especailly as Katsina has been spared Boko Haram’s attacks.
A British and an Italian working for a construction firm in Sokoto State were killed in March after a botched joint rescue bid by Nigerian and British special forces.
In January, unidentified gunmen kidnapped German engineer Edgar Raupach in Kano State and he was found dead in May in a home described as a Boko Haram hideout.
A private Mauritanian news agency had reported that Raupach was taken by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
AQIM has not been known to operate directly in Nigeria, though Boko Haram and other extremists in the country are thought to have links to the group.