by Rachel Ogbu
A French engineer is in hostage, he was kidnapped by 30 gunmen who used dynamite to force their way into a well-guarded compound in Katsina Nigeria, reports claim.
The kidnapped man worked for a French company on a wind power project in the town of Rimi, about 25km (15 miles) from Katsina city
According to Katsina state police commissioner Abdullahi Magaji, two Nigerian guards were killed in the attack and as the unknown group fled, they attacked a police station.
Although Magaji told a news agency he did not think the militant group, Boko Haram was behind the kidnapping, Katsina has been relatively unscathed by months of violence in northern Nigeria carried out by Islamist militants.
Earlier this year, a kidnapped German engineer was killed by his captors during a failed rescue bid. The BBC’s Wills Ross in Nigeria says it is thought the group holding him had links to al-Qaeda’s North African wing, which is active in neighbouring Niger, and Mali.
A British and an Italian hostage were also killed this year during a similar attempt to free them by British and Nigerian forces.
There has been a spate of recent kidnappings in southern Nigeria, where the motive is usually a ransom.