LAGOS, Nigeria — Gunmen ambushed two Americans and two Canadians traveling through the Nigerian state of Kaduna, kidnapping them and killing two police officers, a state police spokesman said Wednesday.
The visitors were heading south from Kafanchan in Kaduna to the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday night when they were ambushed around Kagarko, the Kaduna state police spokesman, Mukhtar Aliyu, said.
“The two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle, which resulted in the unfortunate death of the two police officers,” Mr. Aliyu said.
The Americans and Canadians are investors setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan, Mr. Aliyu said.
Security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been sent to the area to try to rescue the abductees, he said.
Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna-to-Abuja highway. Last year, two German archaeologists were seized at gunpoint less than 60 miles northeast of Abuja and later freed unharmed by their kidnappers. In 2016, Sierra Leone’s deputy high commissioner was kidnapped at gunpoint on the highway and held for five days.