Abducted Lebanese worker killed in NW Nigeria

A kidnapped Lebanese construction engineer has been found dead in the bush in northwest Nigeria, a police spokesman said yesterday.

His body was found by locals near Yansango village on the outskirts of the city of Kano on Thursday, said Abdullahi Haruna, of Kano police.

“The body of the expatriate engineer was discovered by villagers in the bush and the police were notified,” he told AFP. “He was confirmed dead at Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, where the body was taken for autopsy.”

Haruna, who said an investigation was under way, did not say whether the kidnappers had made any ransom demand.

Four gunmen abducted the Lebanese at a road construction site in Kano on Tuesday morning, in an attack that left one construction worker dead and another injured.

The engineer was supervising work on the site at the time.

Kidnapping for ransom is widespread in the oil-rich southern delta region, where criminal gangs seize expatriate oil workers and wealthy Nigerians in exchange for hefty payments.

But the trend has also been on the rise in the north in recent years.

In April last year gunmen seized a German engineer in Kano after killing his police escort, days after a Syrian businessman was killed by gunmen who abducted his teenage son.

The German was held for several weeks before being released.

In Birnin Gwari, in the northwestern state of Kaduna state, entire villages have been deserted for fear of raids and kidnapping by criminal gangs.

The gangs often roam on motorcycles and are known to operate in northern Kaduna and neighbouring Zamfara state.

Abductees are often released within days if the ransom is paid but residents said they can be killed if no money is forthcoming.

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