Lagos.Gunmen have kidnapped four Chinese workers from a quarry site in southern Nigeria and shot dead their police guard, police said Wednesday.
Abductions for ransom are common in southern Nigeria where foreigners and prominent citizens are regularly targeted.
"I can confirm to you that four Chinese workers were abducted last night by unknown gunmen," Cross River state police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo told AFP.
She added that a police sergeant guarding the foreigners was shot dead by the attackers and that officers were searching for the kidnappers.
The police could not immediately say the motive for the abduction.
Local community leader Dominic Akpan said there were six attackers armed with Kalashnikov rifles.
"They shot into the air while one aimed at the police, killed him and collected his gun before going for the Chinese (workers)," he told AFP.
Victims of kidnappings are often released unhurt after ransom payments.
Police rarely confirm such payments.