7 foreigners kidnapped in Nigeria
February 18, 2013 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
- The foreigners work for a construction firm in northern Nigeria, police say
- The victims are from Italy, Greece, Lebanon and possibly Britain
- Nigeria has seen a rash of killings and kidnappings
- Violence is blamed on criminal groups or the Islamist militant group Boko Haram
Jos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Seven foreign workers were kidnapped late Saturday from a construction company in northeastern Nigeria, police said.
The workers include one Italian citizen, one Greek citizen and two Lebanese citizens, according to those governments. Nigerian police said a Briton was also kidnapped; British authorities said they were aware of such reports and were making inquiries.
Who are Boko Haram?
The workers were taken Saturday night from the offices of Setraco, a construction company in Jama'are, in Bauchi State, police said. The company is based in Abuja and is involved in many major road construction projects in northern Nigeria.
The gunmen first attacked a prison, burning two police trucks, public service broadcaster Voice of Nigeria reported, citing state police spokesman Hassan Muhammed.
Opinion: Nigerians still waiting for their 'African Spring'
They then killed a guard at the Setraco workers camp before kidnapping the workers, Muhammed told the broadcaster.
Nigeria has seen a rash of killings and kidnappings blamed on criminal groups or the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
A week ago, three North Korean doctors were killed at a hospital in northern Yobe state, the state police chief told CNN. Ten suspects were arrested.
Earlier this month, nine people working for a government polio vaccination program were killed in the northern city of Kano, a police spokesman said.
Opinion: Nigeria is a sinking ship, but we must not desert it
Nigeria launched a military crackdown on Boko Haram on New Year's Day. Security forces have since captured one of the group's leaders and killed 17 suspected Boko Haram members in a two-day offensive.
Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram -- whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" -- has killed more than 2,800 people in an escalating campaign to impose strict Islamic law on largely Muslim northern Nigeria.
Opinion: Why are Nigerians numb to slaughter?
In the past, the group attacked other Muslims it felt were on an immoral path. But it has increasingly targeted Christians with numerous attacks on churches, as well as striking police stations.
Boko Haram and other Muslim groups say the north has been starved of resources and marginalized by the Nigerian government. But the U.S. State Department has accused its leaders of having ties to the al Qaeda terrorist network and of hoping to drive a wedge between Nigeria's Christian and Muslim communities.
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1438 GMT (2238 HKT)
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories