BAUCHI, Nigeria, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Unknown gunmen kidnapped eight foreign workers from a Lebanese construction company in northeastern Nigeria and killed a guard on duty, local authorities said on Sunday.
Chairman of Jama'are Local Government Area in Bauchi State Adamu Aliyu told Xinhua on phone that the eight people kidnapped in the Setraco Construction Company are expatriates.
The state police earlier said seven foreign workers were kidnapped, without disclosing their identities.
Aliyu said the kidnapped workers include one from Britain, one from Greece, one from Italy and five from Lebanon. A woman and a girl are among the Lebanese kidnapees.
Aliyu said the attack took place at 2:15 a.m. local time on Sunday. Describing the incident as "very unfortunate," the official advised residents of the area to remain calm and cooperate with the security operatives in order to fish out the culprits.
Earlier in the day, State Commissioner of Police Mohammed Ladan told Xinhua that gunmen on Saturday night kidnapped seven workers of Setraco in the Jama'are area.
One security guard was killed in the assault on the company, according to the commissioner.
He said the gunmen also attempted to attack the Ganjuwa Police Station and the Jama'are prison, but were repelled by his men. Two police vehicles were torched in the raid.
The commissioner said no arrests have been made while investigations are underway.
Ladan said police officers have been deployed to track down the perpetrators of this dastardly act, adding that the police are on top of the situation.
"I can assure that we have set out our dragnets to track down those perpetrated this evil acts," he said.
"Yes we have an attack but our policemen repelled the attack on the Police station in Jama'are and Kafin Madaki and also they attacked a Prison Service in Jama'are and the security men at the prison yard also repelled the attack.
"But they burnt two vehicles in Jama'are Police station, they attacked Setraco construction company and killed a local security guard of Setraco company, and they succeeded in kidnapping seven people," the police chief said.
Ladan did not disclose the identities of the people kidnapped, but said police have probed into the separate attacks. He said he will only give details of the kidnapped workers of the company after investigations.
On Wednesday, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's home state of Bayelsa adopted the death penalty for convicted kidnappers in a step to intensify the crackdown on violence hitting the northern part of the West African country in recent years.
Both foreigners and high-profile Nigerians were targeted by assailants, who in most cases sought ransom in exchange for their release.
One of the local victims was Titilayo, wife of Gen. Oluwole Rotimi. She was abducted on Dec. 10, 2012 by unknown gunmen, before regaining freedom from her captors several days later.
Kidnapping, gunmen attacks and suicide bombing have frequently hit the headlines in Africa's most populous country since a Boko Haram militant sect launched an insurgency in the northern city of Maiduguri in 2009.