Extremists claim responsibility for Nigeria kidnappings
BAUCHI, Nigeria — A little-known Islamic extremist group claimed responsibility on Monday for the kidnapping of seven foreign workers from northern Nigeria, threatening their safety if anyone tries to intervene and free them.
The group that calls itself Ansaru issued a short statement, obtained by The Associated Press, in which it said its fighters kidnapped the foreigners on Saturday night from a construction company's camp at Jama'are, a town about 125 miles north of Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi state.
Authorities said those kidnapped include one British citizen, one Greek, one Italian, three Lebanese and one Filipino, all employees of a Lebanese construction company called Setraco.
The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, issued a statement saying Ansaru committed the abduction “based on the transgression and atrocities shown to the religion of Allah by the European countries in many places such as Afghanistan and Mali.” The French military is conducting operations with the Malian army to rout Islamic fighters who took over that country's north in the weeks after a military coup there last year.
“It is stressed that any attempt or act contrary to our conditions by the European nations or by the Nigerian government will” endanger the hostages, the statement read. The statement offered no conditions, suggesting that the group would contact authorities to make a ransom demand.
Police and security officials in Nigeria did not immediately respond the statement.
Greek and Italian diplomats have confirmed their citizens were abducted. Britain's Foreign Office said on Monday that it is aware of reports that a number of foreign nationals, including a British national, were abducted. It said the Foreign Office is in contact with the Nigerian authorities.
In January 2012, Ansaru declared itself a breakaway group from Boko Haram, the north's main terrorist group, analysts say. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege,” has engaged in a guerrilla campaign of bombings and shootings across Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north.
Boko Haram is blamed for more than 790 killings last year, according to an AP count.
Ansaru's aims are not known, but they have a different message from Boko Haram, according to Raffaello Pantucci, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fake Pakistani IDs card found to be ally for terrorists
- China plans display of might with parade
- Hungary stands firm, keeps migrants from trains
- Temple in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra bombed by ISIS terrorists
- Afghan president calls for ‘holy war’ against corruption
- ‘Super giant’ natural gas field found off Egypt in Mediterranean Sea
- European Union struggles for answers as migrant influx raises tensions
- Officer killed in Ukraine clash with nationalist protesters
- Pope: Priests in Holy Year can absolve ‘sin of abortion’
- Japan law to implement mandate for hiring of women
- Al-Jazeera English journalists head to prison in Egypt