Nigeria: 4 Brits Kidnapped

Four British nationals have been kidnapped in Nigeria’s Delta State.

According to Delta police spokesperson, Andrew Aniamaka, the four people were abducted on 13 October by unidentified gunmen.

The hostages, including a doctor and two missionaries, had been doing humanitarian work in the area.

Aniamaka said that police believe a militant group that has been operational in the area is responsible for the kidnapping. He added that police have begun rescue operations.

This latest kidnapping follows the recent kidnapping and then release of Italian missionary Father Maurizio Pallu. He was released on Tuesday, after being held by militants for five days.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, however, the kidnappers have yet to make any ransom demands.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom has warned British citizens who are working or travelling in Nigeria, saying:

“There is a high threat of criminal kidnap in the Niger Delta region and Kogi State. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, and can be motivated by criminality or terrorism”.

Kenya: 5 Soldiers Killed

Five Kenyan soldiers have been killed while on an operation to rescue a kidnapped government official.

According to the Kenyan Defence Forces, Public Works Principal Secretary, Mariam El Maawy was abducted by armed men on Thursday afternoon in Lamu County in the east of the country.

After El Maawy’s abduction, the Kenyan police force launched a joint operation with the army to rescue her.

El Maawy was reportedly put in a car and driven towards the Somali border. The driver of the car was speeding excessively, and eventually lost control of the car and the car rolled.

The police and army were in pursuit of the vehicle, and when the car rolled near the Somali border, the security forces managed to rescue El Maawy.

However, just as security forces managed got to her, a gunfight broke out, leaving four members of the joint security force, as well as El Maawy’s personal bodyguard, dead.

El Maawy herself was unharmed.

The armed attackers are believed to be part of the Al-Shabaab militants who have increased their presence and attacks in Kenya as of late.

The Al-Shabaab militants are fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Somalia, and in addition to carrying out attacks in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu regularly, the militant group has also set their sights on neighbouring countries, such as Kenya.

This is in retaliation to the Kenyan troops that are stationed in Somalia as part of the African Union’s security force.

Germans Kidnapped in Nigeria Released

Governor of Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, has said in a statement that the two Germans that were kidnapped last week Wednesday have been released.

In a statement released to the media, Governor El-Rufai said that the Germans, who were kidnapped close to the Jenjela village in Kaduna state, had been found unharmed by Nigerian security forces. He also praised the various security forces for their part on the safe release of the Germans.

Professor Peter Breunig, and his assistant, Johannes Behringer, are archeologists and were working on site at a dig close to the village where they were kidnapped.

Reports over the weekend suggested that the kidnappers were demanding a $US200 000 ransom from the German Embassy in Nigeria, however, the embassy has not confirmed whether or not a ransom had been paid for the release of the two archeologists.

However, a senior police official involved in the rescuing of the Germans, said that the kidnappers had made direct contact with the German embassy.

It may also have been the Special Forces task team that scared off the kidnappers. This elite unit specializes in kidnappings and is often aided by low-flying helicopters. It is believed that the Special Forces cordoned off a part of a forest in the area.

Kidnappers in the area often take their hostages to this particular area.

Kidnappings in Nigeria have been on the increase over the past two years, with kidnappers targeting foreigners and then demanding ransom from their relevant embassy to secure their release.

Gunmen Kidnap Two Germans in Nigeria

Nigerian officials have announced that two visiting German professionals have been kidnapped in a village in the northern parts of the country.

Aliyu Usman, Assistant Superintendent of the Kaduna Police Command, said that the two Germans were archeologists, and have been identified as Peter Breunig and Johannes Behringer.

According to Usman, they were kidnapped by gunmen in the Jenjela village in the Kaduna state in the northern Nigeria.

Both Breunig and Behringer came to Nigeria as part of a group of four archeologists from the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

The group of archeologists had been working in collaboration with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria.

Usman and the police in Kaduna did not reveal whether or not they have any leads on the kidnapping or whether they have been working with the German consulate to locate the kidnapped archeologists.

They did say, however, that they are working with the villagers of Jenjela village to track down the kidnappers.

Kidnappings in Nigeria have been on the increase over the past two years.

Ever since the country was hit by the recession, kidnappings of foreigners have increased significantly, with kidnappers demanding huge sums of money for the safe return of the victims.

It is not yet known if the kidnappers are demanding a ransom for the Germans.