Four Britons kidnapped in southern Nigeria

In this March file photo, Chadian soldiers sit in a military transport plane as they head to Diffa, Niger before transferring to a helicopter bound for Damasak, Nigeria. Niger has suffered extremist attacks for years, the local al-Qaida affiliate staged dramatic kidnappings of foreigners, Boko Haram from neighboring Nigeria brought suicide bombings across the border. (AP)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Four Britons kidnapped in southern Nigeria

WARRI: Suspected militants have kidnapped four British nationals in southern Nigeria, police and community leaders said on Wednesday.
The four had been providing “free medical care and religious activities” in the Burutu area of Delta state, said Chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community.
Fakama said locals were “saddened” by the kidnapping as the victims had “brought succor to residents of the community for the past three years.”
The spokesman for Delta state police, Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the kidnapping, which happened on Oct. 13.
“The victims are of British nationality, two of whom are a couple, and have been rendering humanitarian services in the area for a while.
“But unfortunately, they didn’t let the authorities know of their presence in the area all this while.
“There is a militant group that has been operating in the area and we believe they are the ones behind the abduction.
“Immediately the militants struck, they whisked the victims to the interior regions of the creek where we believe they are being held for the past five days.”
It was unclear whether any contact had been made with the kidnappers or the motive for the seizure, he added.
Kidnapping for ransom has long been a risk in Nigeria’s south, where high-profile individuals and their families are a frequent target for criminal gangs.
Victims are usually released after a few days once payment is made.
On Oct. 14, the Vatican said an Italian priest was kidnapped by gunman just outside Benin City, which is the capital of Edo state and neighbors Delta state to the north.
Delta state commissioner of police Zanna Ibrahim told reporters in the state capital, Asaba, on Tuesday: “An anti-kidnapping team is already on the trail of the suspects.”
He suggested the abduction could be linked to a recent military operation against violent crime, which has seen an increase in troops in southern Nigeria.


Spanish police find no weapons in knife attacker’s home

Special police forces prepare to raid the apartment building of a man who attacked a police station in Cornella near Barcelona on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 41 min 44 sec ago
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Spanish police find no weapons in knife attacker’s home

MADRID: Police have not found any guns or explosives in the house of a man who allegedly attacked police officers with a knife in Barcelona before being shot dead, a senior official in Spain’s Catalonia region said Tuesday.
Authorities are investigating whether the suspect in Monday’s attack at the police station on the outskirts of Barcelona had links to terror groups, Catalan Interior Minister Miquel Buch said.
He told Catalan public radio that “as things stand” terrorism can’t be ruled out as a motive for the attack. Officials have not identified the dead suspect.
The investigation by police and intelligence services could last weeks, and the motive may not emerge until it’s concluded, Buch said in Catalan, according to Spanish news agency Europa Press.
Police were analyzing evidence collected during the house search.
Catalan police chief Andreu Joan Martinez said Tuesday the policewoman who shot the alleged attacker acted in a “proportionate, adequate” way, considering the “extremely serious situation” she faced.
The policewoman was the first person the attacker approached with a knife after gaining entry to the police station before dawn.
Martinez praised the policewoman and the sergeant near her for their quick response to the threat.
“That explains why today we’re not speaking about greater loss of life,” Martinez told a news conference in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Catalan police force’s largest labor group, Valentin Anadon, said in an interview with Europa Press that the policewoman told the attacker “about 10 times” to put down his knife before she opened fire.
Police haven’t released any video footage from inside the police station during the attack.