Gunmen in Nigeria launched a deadly attack on a mine in the state of Niger on Wednesday, kidnapping at least four Chinese miners.
Niger state police commissioner Bala Kuryas told the BBC that at least four police officers, two members of a local vigilante group and some soldiers were killed in the raid in the district of Shiroro.
A search-and-rescue operation for the abducted Chinese nationals has begun.
It is not immediately clear who carried out the attack, but Niger is one of Nigeria’s states worst affected by kidnappings for ransom.
Islamist militants who usually operate in the north-east of the country sometimes also team up with the kidnapping gangs.
Foreigners have been targeted by the kidnappers in the past.
In recent years, the number of Chinese nationals working in the mining, construction and agricultural sectors has increased in Nigeria.