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BBC News: Two new abductions in Niger Delta

Most foreigners are simply held for ransom by militants

Two Turkish oil workers have been kidnapped in Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta area, police say.

The two men, said to work as engineers for the Italian oil company Agip, were seized on Friday evening while driving through the city of Port Harcourt.

Kidnappings of foreign oil workers are common in the oil-rich but economically poor Niger Delta region.

The pair are thought to be the only foreigners now held captive, after four others were freed this week.

“They were intercepted by militants when they were driving late yesterday evening,” said local police commissioner Felix Ogbaudu on Saturday.

About 70 foreigners have been kidnapped this year in the southern Nigerian region.

There had been speculation that the four hostages were freed earlier this week because of impending elections in Nigeria.

Last month, the European Union said it would not be sending monitors to the Niger Delta for the polls as the region is too dangerous.

Most hostages are released unharmed after a few days, but some have been hurt or killed in bungled rescue efforts by security services.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6534691.stm

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