01/17/2018 08:33 EST | Updated 01/17/2018 08:41 EST

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

OTTAWA — Global Affairs Canada says it's aware of reports that two Canadian citizens have been kidnapped in Nigeria.

Spokesman John Babcock says consular officials in Nigeria are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.

Babcock says further details can't be released for privacy reasons.

Local police, however, say two foreigners kidnapped Tuesday evening in Kaduna State were a Canadian and an American.

Police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu says the two foreigners were travelling from Kafanchan to the capital, Abuja, when they were ambushed by gunmen.

He says a policeman was killed in the ensuing battle.

Aliyu says the American and Canadian are investors setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan in Kaduna state.

He says security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been deployed to the area to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended and the two foreigners are rescued unharmed.

Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria.

Global Affairs advises against non-essential travel to Nigeria and says Kaduna should be avoided "due to the high risk of terrorism, inter-communal violence and kidnapping."

— With files from The Associated Press.