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Monday, 18 February 2013
Islamist group claims kidnap of foreigners in Nigeria
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(Reuters) - An Islamist group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Monday for kidnapping seven foreigners in an attack in a remote Nigerian town at the weekend, when raiders used explosives to blast their way into a housing compound in a hail of gunfire.

Gunmen killed a security guard and abducted a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers after storming the compound of Lebanese construction firm Setraco in Jama'are in Bauchi state late on Saturday.

"By Allah's grace (we) have the custody of seven persons, which include Lebanese and their European counterparts working with Setraco," read a statement from Ansaru, a group that has kidnapped other foreigners in Nigeria in the past. The kidnapping was "based on the transgression and atrocities done to the religion of Allah by the European countries in many places such as Afghanistan and Mali," the statement said.

Three foreigners were killed in two failed rescue attempts last year after being kidnapped in northern Nigeria and Ansaru, blamed for those kidnaps, warned this could happen again. "Any attempt or act (against us) by European nations or by the Nigerian Government will lead to (similar) happenings," said the group, which has not issued any specific demands.

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Posted on 02/18/2013 2:54 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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