Kidnapped Americans, Canadians rescued in Nigeria, police say

(CNN) — Two Americans and two Canadians who were abducted by gunmen in northern Nigeria this week have been rescued, a police official said Saturday.

All four are safe and in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, with the US and Canadian embassies, Nigeria’s State Commissioner of Police Agyole Abeh told CNN by phone.

Nigerian police have arrested a suspect in connection with the abduction and are pursuing others, he said.

The four foreigners were rescued in the Jere area of the Kagarko local government area of Kaduna state, he said.

The rescue operation followed a massive police manhunt, Abeh said, adding that no ransom was paid for the foreigners’ release.

The foreign nationals were members of an investment team for a solar power project in Kafanchan district in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State Police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu told CNN.

The four were abducted at 7 p.m. Tuesday, while traveling with police escorts from Kaduna city to Abuja. “The abductors ambushed them along with police escorts who traveled with them, two policemen were killed in the gun battle,” he said.

The road connecting Abuja and Kaduna has long been targeted by kidnappers.

The US State Department warned last year against travel to Kaduna and seven other states in northern Nigeria due to frequent instances of robbery and abduction along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

Kaduna is among nine states targeted by Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group based in northeast Nigeria, it said.