A map of Osun state, a region in South-west Nigeria.

Three Chinese employees have been abducted and their police escort killed following a dispute with local labourers at a gold-mining site in Osun State, police said Thursday.

The incident which happened at the Atakumosa area of Osun state on Monday was under investigation, state police spokeswoman Yemisi Opalola told AFP.

“The three Chinese nationals were abducted following a dispute with local labourers at the site,” Opalola said, adding that the police guard attached to the foreigners was killed in the incident.

Opalola could not immediately say if the labourers were responsible for the Chinese kidnapping, but added that an investigation had been launched.

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“We have also deployed our operatives to the surrounding bushes with a view to securing the release of the Chinese.”

Chinese firms are working in Nigeria on multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects that include mining, railways, airports, and roads.

Their workers have been repeatedly targeted by kidnap gangs for ransom money.

Last July, four Chinese workers were abducted from a quarry site in Cross River state while their police guard was killed. They were freed after a month in captivity.

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