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iol.co.za: Son of Shell worker kidnapped

October 16 2007 at 11:42AM 
 
Lagos – Gunmen have abducted the five-year-old son of a Nigerian employee of Anglo-Dutch energy group Shell in the oil city of Port Harcourt, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“The boy was kidnapped yesterday. The matter has been reported to the police,” spokesperson Precious Okolobo told AFP.

He said Divine Ifeanyi Emeruma was seized from his father’s residence in Port Harcourt early on Monday. No group has claimed responsibility.

The elderly parents or small children of prominent Nigerians in the oil-rich Niger Delta region have become targets for kidnappers in recent months.

Last month, the two-year-old daughter of a Shell worker was kidnapped but released after a week.

Also Tuesday, the 82-year-old father of a Nigerian MP who was kidnapped last week, was released.

Jeffrey Komonibo, the father of Bayelsa state lawmaker Edowe Komonibo was seized from his house in Odi on October 9.

“The old man has regained his freedom,” Bayelsa police spokesperson Iniobong Ibokette told AFP.

Since the beginning of 2006, more than 200 foreigners, mostly in the oil industry, have been taken hostages by militants in the restive region.

Most have been released unhurt after days or even weeks, usually after ransoms are paid, although oil firms rarely admit to making such payments.

The unrest in the Niger Delta has reduced exports of Nigeria’s 2,6 million barrels of crude per day at peak production by a quarter in the past 18 months. – Sapa-AFP

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=nw20071016112658242C755336

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