Nigerian police hunt for Briton believed to have been abducted

JOS, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian security forces said on Sunday they were searching for a British construction worker they believe was kidnapped in the central Plateau state.

The search began after the man failed to show up for work on Saturday morning, said Captain Ikedichi Iweha, a spokesman for the Special Task Force, which is made up of both military and police personnel. Capt Iweha declined to give further details.

It was not known whether the alleged kidnappers were members of Islamist group Boko Haram or just bandits. Boko Haram gained worldwide attention when it abducted more than 200 girls from a school in northeast Nigeria in April.

No one was immediately available for comment at the British High Commission in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

The kidnapping of expatriates by armed gangs seeking ransom money has long been rife in Nigeria's oil-producing southeast. However, abductions of foreigners in the mainly Muslim north for ideological reasons are also becoming more common.

Plateau state is located in Nigeria's "Middle Belt" where the north and the largely Christian south meet - a common flashpoint for violence.