April 13, 2012 / 5:28 PM / in 6 years

Nigeria says Spanish doctor kidnapped by gunmen

ENUGU, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen have kidnapped a Spanish doctor in southeastern Nigeria, local police said on Friday, a region where several foreigners have been abducted for ransom in recent years.

“The man was taken from his home on April 4,” Enugu police spokesman Ebere Amaraeze said. He added that police had made contact with the abductors and were assured the Spanish man was alive. He did not say if any ransom had been requested.

Kidnapping is a major enterprise in Africa’s second biggest economy, the vast majority of victims being Nigerian.

Snatching foreigners in the oil-producing Niger Delta has become common in recent years, though there has been a sharp reduction since an amnesty for militants in 2009. Most kidnap victims were released after payment of a ransom.

Enugu is just north of the oil-producing region and hundreds of miles south of the northern areas where Islamist sect Boko Haram are carrying out almost daily attacks.

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