CALABAR, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen in southern Nigeria kidnapped three expatriate cement industry workers and at least one Nigerian worker after killing their local driver early on Wednesday morning, police said on Wednesday.

The workers, two of whom police said later escaped, were contractors for cement company Lafarge Africa. Two were Australians and one a New Zealander, said Irene Ugbo, a spokeswoman for Cross River state police.

There was confusion over the nationalities of those involved. A second police spokesman later said the third foreigner abducted with the Australians was from South Africa.

They were attacked on the outskirts of the city of Calabar at around 05:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), police said.


Two expatriates managed to flee, said Ugbo, adding that she did not know the nationality of any of the workers feared still held.

The kidnappers had not contacted police, she said.

Lafarge Africa said it had been informed of the incident by Australian contractor Macmahon.

"Macmahon is working with the security agencies to resolve this situation," said Viola Graham-Douglas, a spokeswoman for Lafarge Africa. Macmahon could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Ani Akpan, Anamesere Igboeroteonwu and Alexis Akwagyiram,; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by Andrew Roche)

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