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pr-inside.com: Police: Lebanese businessman shot dead in Nigeria’s oil region

© AP
2007-07-20 10:12:29 –

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AP) – A Lebanese businessman was shot dead in his home early Friday in oil-rich southern Nigeria, police said.

State police spokeswoman Irejua Barasua called the 3 a.m. attack in central Port Harcourt an attempted kidnapping, but did not say why police believed the assailants were trying to abduct the man.

Barasua said a nearby police station was attacked shortly afterward and three officers were wounded in the gunfire. It was not immediately clear whether the incidents were related. Barasua did not provide further details.

A friend of the family, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said that the man had initially come to Nigeria to work as a carpenter for a large company but had decided to set up business on his own. The friend said that he thought a kidnap attempt was unlikely.

Kidnappings and oil rig attacks have become common in the southern river delta region of Africa’s largest crude producer, where oil giants like Royal Dutch Shell PLC, ExxonMobil and Eni SpA have large operations. The assailants range from militants demanding political concessions to criminal gangs seeking ransoms.

More than 150 foreigners have been seized in the region so far this year, as well as many Nigerians. About a dozen remain in captivity. Those taken hostage have typically been released unharmed, though some have reported being beaten and a Belarusian woman was shot in the knee and held for more than a week without medical attention.

Police officers have been killed in a number of attacks or attempted kidnappings.
Arrests are rare, even though the kidnappings and bombings have cut production in Nigeria by about a quarter, helping to drive up oil prices worldwide.

http://www.pr-inside.com/police-lebanese-businessman-shot-dead-r178594.htm

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