Boko Haram raid targets Lafarge cement plant in Nigeria

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Nigeria: Suspected Boko Haram fighters have stolen dynamite and pick-up trucks from the Lafarge Ashaka Plant in Nigeria after robbing a bank. The attack in Ashaka, Gombe State on 4 November 2014 came after the Islamists robbed a bank, blew up a police station and set fire to a political party office 20km away in Nafada. Unlike previous attacks in recent months in the far northeast of the country, the militants did not attempt to hold the town.

"The factory was the target of the intruders. There were no injuries. There was no damage in the factory.... The situation is still calm and everything is back to normal," said Bruno Lafont, CEO of Lafarge. French diplomats in Nigeria said that none of its nationals were taken in the raid. Bruno Lafont said that operations had not been affected.

According to witnesses the gunmen stormed the site in the afternoon, looted explosives and demanded to be taken to where expatriate managers, French nationals, were staying. However the plant was mostly empty following the raid in Nafada, which left at least 10 dead.

The Lafarge Ashaka cement plant, set up in 1974, is the largest cement works in northern Nigeria and employs about 500 people, including an unspecified number of expatriates.

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