A group of foreign nationals were kidnapped in Kaduna state while traveling between the city of Kaduna and the capital city of Abuja on Tuesday, January 16. According to local media reports, unidentified gunmen abducted two American and two Canadian nationals near Kafanchan at approximately 20:00 (local time). The attackers killed two police officers who were escorting the victims. Details are still emerging.
No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions as of Wednesday, January 17. Kidnap for ransom - both of high net worth Nigerians and of foreign nationals - is commonplace in the country, especially in the restive southern region.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly concerning in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.