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Kidnapped German killed in raid to save him

The Local · 31 May 2012, 15:30

Published: 31 May 2012 15:30 GMT+02:00

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Edgar Fritz Raupach was killed by his captors as Nigerian security forces conducted a raid early Thursday in the northern city of Kano, according to the security sources.

Residents reported hearing explosions and gunfire rock the neighbourhood of Danbare for more than half an hour at around 6:00 am, and said it appeared several hundred soldiers were involved along with trucks and armoured vehicles.

"The German kidnapped in January has been killed by his abductors early this morning," a military official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Following intelligence reports, men of [a military task force] raided a hideout where he was being held by his abductors."

A shootout occurred and the abductors also detonated explosives, said the official.

"They were subdued, but realising that it was the end for them, they killed the hostage," the official added.

Another military source and a police source confirmed Raupach's death. He was said to have been shot and stabbed by his captors.

The sources also said a number of the abductors had been killed in the raid, with differing accounts putting the figure between two and five.

The engineer was kidnapped on the outskirts of Kano in January in the days after a series of bombings and shootings claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram, which killed at least 185 people in the city.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in March it was holding the German and that it wanted to swap him for Filiz Gelowicz, the jailed wife of Fritz Gelowicz, the leader of a Sauerland-based group of Islamists. He is serving 12 years in prison for a bomb attack, while she is serving two-and-a-half.

They released a video which showed Raupach flanked by two armed men, begging for his life.

Speaking first in German and then English, he asks the German government to do something. “I beg my government to save my life,” he said. “My life is in your hands now, I beg you, or these people will kill me here.”

AQIM has not been known to operate directly in Nigeria, though Islamist group Boko Haram and other extremists in the country are believed to have links to the group.

In late March, Nigerian authorities said they had detained five men, including a Mauritanian, believed to be linked to Al-Qaeda's north African branch, over Raupach’s kidnapping.

His death marks the second such incident in recent months in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer.

In March, security forces faced criticism after a failed bid to rescue an Italian and a British hostage.

Their captors killed them before Nigerian forces could rescue them in a joint operation with British security forces.

Story continues below…

Germany had confirmed one of its nationals was kidnapped in northern Nigeria, and the German construction company Bilfinger Berger has said he was one of their employees.

Police in Kano had said the German man was attached to Nigerian construction firm Dantata and Sawoe.

In the fresh kidnapping that emerged on Thursday, Italian building and civil engineering firm Borini Prono confirmed that one of their employees had been abducted on Monday, but would not release further details.

Unidentified armed men were said to have snatched the engineer as he inspected road-draining works in the city of Ilorin.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:56 May 31, 2012 by raandy
In this case or any other in the same circumstances, would be better to negotiate then depend on military attempts at a rescue..

I would like to know if the German's were notified of the attempt and if they agreed.The record of success is not there.
18:31 May 31, 2012 by swissjalapeno7
Some People have no Moral Compasses, Poor Man RIP.
18:33 May 31, 2012 by Bushdiver
@raandy.......Good thing decisions aren't left up to you. As bad as it turned out you still do not negotiate with these type of people. Sooner or later they will learn that there are no negotiations for hostages. Condolences to his family.
20:22 May 31, 2012 by PNWDev
@ Bushdiver



How are you not able to recognize negotiating with them only encourages more hostage taking? With that belief, you will soon be negotiating with multiple sects simultaneously. And once you do that, you are in fact funding their operation.
23:38 May 31, 2012 by ovalle3.14
If it would have been my father or my son, I don't care if it encourages anything. I would have wanted him alive.
00:26 June 1, 2012 by raandy
Bushdiver fear not ,these decisions will never be up to me, but how many botched attempts do you need before you decide that this countries rescue attempts are not in your best interset.

Easy for you say, as you are not being held by someone that has little concern whether you live or die. Perhaps if this was a close family relation you might see it different. It is easy to recite this stance when you are safe in your comfort zone, bet it would change if you wasn't. Easy to be a tough guy when no one is at your throat.
08:06 June 1, 2012 by delvek
small minded comments ...

If you give a meal to a starving person he will come back tomorrow. If you slam the door in his face, he wont come back tomorrow.

Negotiating for your loved one will create countless more loved ones taken, dont you see this?
08:29 June 1, 2012 by mos101392
Once again another western is kidnapped and killed. When will these people stop going to these countries for the money? I have never been or will ever have any desire to go to Africa or Asia. There are far safer places to go instead.
10:45 June 1, 2012 by Johnne
My heart goes out to the family and everyone affected, the German government, people, and every westerner. This is a very sad news for us all..it´s sad for Southern Nigerians especially. Even though these terrorists fanatical views are not shared by most muslims, Southern Nigerians are saddened by these violence. We advise Westerners to avoid going to the North. Nigeria is a huge country with a muslim north, and mostly christian south. Although the South face other challenges, it is where we share economic and cultural views with the west and the globalized world. We want the British that merged us to accept our decision of seperating from the north. We Southern Nigerians are Christians & circular. We are the Lagos, the Ibadans, Ondo states and the Niger-delta in the deep south. White people should PLEASE stop going to the north or rather, suspend going there for now. If the northerners (hausa muslims) reject development and the goods of the typical Nigerian spirit of prosperity, education- hungry, entrepreneur spirit, friendliness and bubbly way of life, mixed with the western culture that we enjoy in the south, they should remain primitive, less educated, undeveloped and poor.

The south is totally different and the Yorubas & Ibos want to seperate from the Hausa north. Nigeria is a country of almost 180 million. Nigerians are the most educated migrants in the US and even in the UK. But 98% of them are either Yorubas or Ibos. We don´t ask too much from the west, all we ask for is STOP going to northern Nigeria for any reason at all. We know they have solid minerals but it´s not important. We in the south have human resources which is the most important thing. We have the Oil & Gas, we have the brains, we have solid minerals as well: Gold, Diamond and everything and we are African/Westernized, and we are development hungry. Anyone who have been to Nigeria can testify to what I´m saying. We want to return our Lagos as the Capital of Southern Nigeria or choose Calabar or Ibadan. Please my western brothers & sisters STOP going to the North. I have a German family too/white ancestros from the US, my wife and kids are Germans (native German wife). So I appeal to you. The South is much prosperous- with 7,8% economic growth. Nigeria is the thrid fastest growing economy in the world after China and India, but the growth is actually from the South! Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, the Delta and the East. The northerners just sit around the whole day planning evil with some fanatics. The British colonialists caused this problems but it´s ok, we understand their vision. Today, things are different and we need change. The UK and the US did the merging and we´re telling them now that enough is enough, Nigeria must split peacefully becoming North & South Nigeria. We southerners can deal with our challenges but we´re not ready to deal with fanatic muslims who don´t share the same vision, cultural and moral views with us.

Thank you.
16:15 June 1, 2012 by raandy
Small mindedness, when is the last time you had a love one kidnaped and held for ransom? If my child was held I woud give every cent I have to get her back.

You can not pass that off with half witted cliches,with out having been there,
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