Africa

Gunmen abduct four priests in Nigeria: state official

Gunmen have abducted four Catholic priests in southern Nigeria, a local state official told AFP Wednesday.

The kidnapping of the priests came less than three weeks after five Catholic Nigerian nuns were kidnapped in Delta State
The kidnapping of the priests came less than three weeks after five Catholic Nigerian nuns were kidnapped in Delta State (AFP)

Gunmen have abducted four Catholic priests in southern Nigeria, a local state official told AFP Wednesday.

The kidnapping happened on Tuesday at a border community between Edo and Delta States in the south, said Andrew Aniamaka, a spokesman for Delta State.

"They were abducted on their way to Ekpoma, Edo state, from Delta for an event," he added, saying police and local security were hunting for the gunmen.

A source at the Warri Catholic diocese in Delta State confirmed the incident, which comes less than three weeks after five Catholic nuns were kidnapped in Delta State.

The nuns were released two weeks later, and a suspect was in custody, said Aniamaka. He would not say if a ransom had been paid.

Several sources confirm that the nuns had been returning from a burial ceremony in the southeast Nigeria when they were abducted by gunmen who opened fire on their vehicles, injuring two other nuns.

In January, Nigeria's bishops denounced a wave of kidnappings for ransom in the country.