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Sierra Leone's deputy high commissioner kidnapped in Nigeria

Kano (Nigeria): A Sierra Leone diplomat was kidnapped in Nigeria, a security official said, confirming the latest high-profile kidnapping in the West African country.

Sierra Leone's deputy high commissioner to Nigeria Alfred Nelson-Williams was kidnapped as he was travelling by road from the Nigerian capital of Abuja north to Kaduna, a city some 200 kilometres away.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

"He was kidnapped on his way to Kaduna from Abuja to attend the passing out ceremony of military officers at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji outside Kaduna," said Kaduna state security official Yusuf Yakubu Soja to AFP.

"We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the kidnap. We want to establish whether he had security escorts with him and what happened to them," Soja said, adding: "I'm not aware of any ransom demand."

Kidnappings are common in Nigeria, where the rich and powerful drive bulletproof cars and hire military and police chaperones as protection from highway bandits.

The most sensational kidnapping in the country's recent history saw 276 schoolgirls snatched from their classroom in the remote northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014 by Boko Haram jihadists.

But in the south, where wealthy Nigerians and expatriate workers are usually the target, abductions are often for financial gain.

This week, two Indian workers were kidnapped on their way to work in central Benue state. The pair have yet to be released.

Last week, three Australians, a New Zealander and a South African were kidnapped along with two Nigerians near the capital of Cross River state in the country's south.

They were released four days later, but officials did not say whether the kidnappers received any ransom.

Updated Date: Jul 02, 2016 15:40 PM