Two Chinese construction workers have been killed by gunmen in the town of Benishek in Nigeria’s volatile northeast.
The killing happened Wednesday, increasing the number of Chinese killed in the northern area to four, in recent weeks.
“It was around 10:30 am, some unknown gunmen trailed them to the yard and opened fire, killing two Chinese engineers,” an official with the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation said.
“I received report of an attack on some Chinese construction workers in Benishek this morning. I am still awaiting details of the attack,” Borno State police commissioner Yuguda Abdullahi said.
The company official said four Chinese engineers had arrived at the Benishek site from their base in nearby Damaturu early Wednesday before the attack.
“This morning four of our engineers left their base in Damaturu and arrived our yard in Benishek with the intention of taking along some construction workers to different sites where they were working,” he said.
He said two of them were killed while the other two fled.
“The attackers took away one of our company vehicles,” he said, adding that it was the second such attack in recent weeks.
“This is the second attack on the yard by gunmen in just two weeks. Last month some gunmen attacked the same yard, killing two mobile policemen guarding the place,” he said.
He said that incident forced the foreigners to relocate to Damaturu, some 70 kilometres from Benishek.
Although no group has claimed responsibility, Nigeria’s northeast has seen scores of deadly gun and bomb attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Gunmen shot dead a Chinese construction worker in the violence-wracked city of Maiduguri on October 19.
On October 7, a Chinese national was also killed in the town of Gubio, near Maiduguri, in what appeared to be a robbery.
The killings of the Chinese nationals prompted Beijing to lodge a diplomatic protest to Nigerian authorities. [PMN]