CQ man still missing in Nigeria after kidnapping

THE fate of three Australian men, including a man from Central Queensland, is still unknown following a kidnapping by gunman in Nigeria on Wednesday.

Australians and Mcmahon contractors Peter Zoutenbier, who previously lived in Central Queensland, Jack Couranz and Mark Gabbedy remain missing.

Mr Zoutenbier, 58, grew up in Central Queensland but had since based in Brisbane.

Peter Zoutenbier
Peter Zoutenbier

"The employees who were abducted in the incident include three Australians, two Nigerians, a New Zealander and a South African," the company said.

"We are working to ensure the safe return of all the men involved and are in communication with their families. "Mcmahon is providing support to the men's families and we ask the media to respect their privacy at this time.

"Counselling has also been made available for all McMahon employees and their families."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop revealed only limited details about the incident.

She said to disclose information could impact the outcome.

Calbar, Nigeria
Calbar, Nigeria

"The government is in close contact with the Nigerian government, which is taking the matter extremely seriously," Ms Bishop said.

Local media report the men were travelling in a convoy of four vehicles including two SUV's when militants opened fire on them at 7am local time.

The men were reportedly lead away to a waiting boat after their driver was shot dead.

The kidnapping happened in the Akpabuyo district near the capital of Cross River state, Calabar where Mcmahon was contracted. Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the Australian Consulate was "working with the abductees to have the group freed".

Mr Zoutenbier's family declined to comment this afternoon.


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