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Two French nationals kidnapped in Nigeria

Latest update : 2008-08-03

A group of gunman have kidnapped a pair of French nationals in Onne port, in the oil-rich south of Nigeria. It is the latest in a spate of kidnappings that have seen Nigeria's oil production drop in the last two years.

Gunmen have kidnapped two French nationals in oil-rich southern Nigeria, a police spokeswoman said Sunday.
   
Rita Abbey, spokeswoman for Rivers State police, said the two had been seized at Onne port.
   
Lieutenant-Colonel Musa Sagir, a spokesman for the military taskforce that polices the Niger Delta, confirmed the kidnapping.
   
No further details were available.
   
There was no immediate confirmation from any French source.
   
In the past two-and-a-half years the Niger Delta has seen numerous kidnappings targeting foreign companies. They were claimed by armed groups who say they are fighting for a greater share of the oil wealth for the region's inhabitants.
   
Kidnapping has become a lucrative business with many armed groups collecting ransoms in exchange for the release of their hostages.
   
Violence in the southern region has reduced Nigeria's total oil production by a quarter since January 2006.
   
Nigeria was Africa's largest oil producer until it was overtaken in April by Angola, according to Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) figures.
 

Date created : 2008-08-03

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