Americans, Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria freed, police say

The foreigners were rescued in northern Nigeria early Saturday, police said.

ByABC News
January 20, 2018, 3:55 PM

— -- Two Americans and two Canadians who were kidnapped by gunmen in northern Nigeria earlier this week have been rescued, police said.

The foreigners -- three men and a woman -- were rescued early Saturday in the Jere area of the Kagarko local government area of Kaduna state after a massive police manhunt, Kaduna state police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu told ABC News.

They have been transported to Nigeria's capital, Abuja. All four were said to be in fairly good condition, Aliyu said.

Kaduna state police commissioner Agyole Abeh told ABC News no ransom was paid for the foreigners' release. A suspect has been arrested in connection to their abduction, he added.

Police officers were escorting the four foreigners through Kaduna state on Tuesday night when they were ambushed on a roadway in Kagarko. A gun fight ensued between the police officers and the attackers, and two policemen were killed and another was wounded.

The gunmen abducted the foreigners and took off, according to Aliyu.

The foreigners had visited Kafanchan and Kaura in Kaduna state and were heading back to Nigeria's capital city, Abuja, at the time of the ambush.

When asked for comment Saturday, an official at the U.S. Department of State told ABC News, "We are aware of reports of two U.S. citizens kidnapped and released in Nigeria. The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas are among our top priorities. Due to privacy considerations we have no further comment."

Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Elizabeth Reid told ABC News the Canadian government had received confirmation that two of their nationals were freed from their captors in Nigeria.

"We are very pleased that all individuals involved have been released and are safe," Reid said. "Canadian officials worked closely with Nigerian government officials on the ground to ensure the best possible outcome."

ABC News' Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.