Third Time Lucky: Ansaru Claims Responsibility For Kidnap Of 7 Expatriates

The Herald NG
5 Min Read

The new Islamist group, Ansaru has claimed responsibility of seven construction workers in Jama’are, Bauchi State.

A note allegedly written and posted on Twitter by one Abu Usamatal Ansary yesterday said: “Based on the transgression and atrocities done to the religion of Allah SWT by European countries in many places such as Afghanistan and Mali etc. By Allah’s grace Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladissudan has the custody of seven persons, which include Lebanese and their European counterparts working with Setraco in Nigeria on 8th of Rabiul Thani,1434 equivalent to 7 February 2013’’.

The statement added: “It is stressed that any attempt or act contrary to our condition by the European Nations or by the Nigeria Government will lead to the happenings as it was in the previous attempt.’’

The statement was not signed, but the name of Abu Usamatal Ansary was at the bottom as the writer.

The hostages: a Briton, the Italian, the Greek and four Lebanese, employees of construction firm SETRACO, working on the Bauchi State segment of the Kano-Maiduguri Expressway, were kidnapped at gunpoint from their workplace in Jama’are, Bauchi State.

A Nigerian security guard, Mr. John Amalu, was killed by the gunmen.

This claim of responsibility comes even as President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday ordered security agents to rescue the hostages.

A statement by his spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, the President commiserated with the family of the guard who was reportedly killed and assured the kidnapped foreign workers as well as the governments of their countries that the Federal Government and its security agencies are doing everything possible to find their abductors and ensure the safe release of all those they abducted.

“The President condemns the kidnapping of the workers and reaffirms the Federal Government’s total commitment to stamping out all forms of terrorism and criminal abduction in the country.

“He urges all Nigerians and foreigners in the country to continue to go about their normal business in the full assurance that the government and national security agencies are working tirelessly to curb threats to security in all parts of the country,” Abati said.

The Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan has said that his command has intensified a manhunt for the militants and as soon as security agencies conclude their investigation, information would be released.

It was the worst case of foreigners being kidnapped since an insurgency by Islamist militants intensified two years ago.


Ansaru, suspected to be a splinter group of the Boko Haram Islamist sect, has in the recent past claimed responsibility for the abduction of a Frenchman in Katsina, Katsina State who is yet to be released or freed, and for an attack on a contingent of Nigerian soldiers on their way to join the peacekeeping forces in Mali, near Okene in Kogi State.

The abductors allegedly used explosives to blast their way into a housing compound in a hail of gunfire.

In the Jama’are housing compound walls were strewn with bullet holes and empty cartridges lay on the floor as police searched the deserted Setraco site on Monday, witnesses said. The remaining foreign workers abandoned their homes and fled to safer areas in Nigeria.

Islamist fighters first attacked a police station and a prison, burning vehicles to immobilise security officials, before striking the compound in a coordinated attack, the Setraco compound security manager said.

“Some of them attacked the camp from the north side, while others from the south. They blew holes in the security gates using explosives,” an eyewitness, Musa Alhamdu said.

“There was pandemonium after the gunmen opened fire on the four policemen attached to the camp, the policemen ran away as they were overpowered,” Alhamdu added.

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