Authorities said on Thursday that gunmen attacked a local mining site in central Nigeria, killing “many security personnel” and kidnapping some workers, including four Chinese nationals.
Earlier this year, while at a hydroelectric power plant, three Chinese nationals were kidnapped in a related attack in the Niger state.
After gunmen broke into a mining site in the hamlet of Ajata Aboki in the Shiroro region of Niger state on Wednesday, the State Commissioner for Internal Security, Emmanuel Umar, said that security personnel had reacted to a distress call.
“Consequently, the joint security team engaged the terrorists and there were yet to be determined number of casualties from both sides,” Umar said in a statement.
“However, a yet to be ascertained number of workers in the mining site, including four Chinese nationals, were reported to have been abducted.”
Authorities did not reveal the name of the firm, which was the most recent victim of attacks on foreigners in Nigeria, though they are no longer as common as they once were.
Chinese officials issued a travel advise in November cautioning their citizens and firms against visiting “high-risk” regions in Nigeria and other African nations.
Under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military officer who took office in 2015, Nigeria’s security situation has gotten worse.
The attack on Wednesday is the most recent episode in a cycle of violence that has claimed hundreds of lives over the previous 12 months.
More victims have also been kept captive for months as a result of an expanding kidnapping-for-ransom tactic, including dozens who were abducted in a train raid outside the nation’s capital in March.
Although the majority of the attacks have taken place in the northwest region, they are now slowly spreading towards central Nigeria.
The federal capital, Abuja, lies close to Niger State, the biggest of the nation’s 36 states by landmass.