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KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Kidnappers have abducted one American and one Canadian in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, police said on Wednesday.

Kidnappings are rife in Nigeria, where domestic security is weak, though they overwhelmingly target other Nigerians. However, abductions of foreigners are not uncommon.

The American and Canadian were ambushed by unknown gunmen around Kagarko on their way from the city of Kaduna to the capital Abuja on Tuesday evening, Mukhtar Aliyu, a spokesman for the Kaduna state police, said by phone.

Kaduna, a major northern city, is about two hours' drive from Abuja.

"The two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle, which resulted in the unfortunate death of the two police officers," he said, without providing further details.

A spokesman for the United States embassy in Nigeria declined to comment. The Canadian embassy was not immediately available for comment.

In October, kidnappers took four Britons in Delta state in the south. Three were released after negotiations, but the other, Ian Squire, was killed.

The Abuja-Kaduna road has long been a haunt for kidnappers. Last February, two German archaeologists were abducted in the region, though were later freed.

(Reporting by Garba Muhammed; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Hugh Lawson, William Maclean)

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Reuters