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German citizen abducted in Northern Nigeria

Eye Witness: "They threatened him and took him away on a motorcycle"

(PresseBox) (Bonn, ) An eye witness confirmed to Deutsche Welle in a telephone interview that a German citizen was abducted in the city of Gombi in Northern Nigeria on Wednesday. Four men ambushed him at 7 am local time. The German was the head of a local technical training centre in the city. "It looked as if they were asking him for something. He pulled the window down to listen to them", Samuel Gajere Zamani, a colleague of the German in the training centre, told Deutsche Welle. "He talked to the men in German, because he does not speak Hausa." According to Gajere Zamani, the captors then pulled down masks over their faces and drew guns. "There were two of them and two others joined them on motorcycles. They forced him to sit between two of them on one of the motorcycles", Zamani said. "They were all holding guns in their hands".

A correspondent of Deutsche Welle's Hausa Service reports that members of a local vigilante group chased the kidnappers after the abduction. Two members of the vigilante group were killed in the process. The other group members returned with their bodies.

A Nigerian online newspaper was the first to break the news of the abduction. A spokeswoman for the German Foreign Office told Deutsche Welle that the ministry was aware of the abduction. As in similar cases, the ministry said it could not release further details about the case.

The German teacher was working for the Technical Training Centre (TTC), a project of the Adamawa state government designed to reduce the soaring number of unemployed youth in the region. Several hundred students at various schools in the state are trained in different professions like carpentry or car maintenance. Several German teachers have been employed by the TTC. Local sources told DW that the majority of them would be flown out of the country after the abduction of their colleague.

The motive of the kidnappers is still unclear. A spokesman for the government of Adamawa state told DW that the police had sent a team of investigators to Gombi. The town is close to the border with Borno State, where the terrorist group Boko Harm abducted more than 200 girls from a school in April.

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