Briton kidnapped in Nigeria's Lagos this week

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 19, 2013 9:22 AM

ABUJA (Reuters) - A British national was kidnapped in Nigeria this week shortly after arriving at Lagos airport, the British High Commission said on Friday.

Gunmen attacked a four-wheel drive car at around 8.30 p.m. (1930 GMT/ 15:30 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday after it left the airport's international terminal, kidnapping a British man who was returning to a residential area of Lagos, two security sources told Reuters.

The Nigerian driver of the vehicle was shot but survived, the sources said.

"The BHM is working closely with others to secure the release of the hostage," the British High Commission said in a statement. "Because of the nature of this incident, the BHM is not going into further detail about it."

Major companies with British connections operating in Nigeria include oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, British Airways, Unilever and PricewaterhouseCoopers. There was no indication of where the kidnapped man was employed.

Kidnapping of expatriates by armed gangs seeking ransom has long been rife in Nigeria's oil producing southeast but is rarer in Lagos where most foreigners live.

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A British businessman was kidnapped in March in an upmarket district of Nigeria's commercial capital but was released four days later. It was not clear if a ransom was paid.

In Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, kidnappings of foreigners for ideological motives by Islamist groups have taken a deadlier turn. Islamist group Ansaru killed seven foreign hostages in March, authorities from some of the affected countries said.

(Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)