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BBC News: British man kidnapped in Nigeria

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About 200 foreign workers have been kidnapped so far this year

Sunday 21 October 2007

A British oil worker has been kidnapped in Nigeria along with six other men, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Earlier, Olav Ljosne, spokesman for Shell, told the AP news agency that gunmen in speedboats attacked the EA oil field in the volatile Niger Delta.

Three foreign workers, including the Briton, and four Nigerians were taken after a three-hour gun battle, he said.

A Foreign Office spokesman said it was aware of an incident, but had not received any more details.

The offshore EA field has been closed since February 2006, but was due to resume operations by the middle of next year.

Mr Ljosne said: “The next step is to evacuate the staff and try to work on the release of the kidnapped people.”

About 200 foreign workers have been kidnapped in Nigeria since the beginning of the year.

One of them was a three-year-old girl, the daughter of a British national, who was taken from the southern city of Port Harcourt in July.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest petroleum producer, but unrest in the increasingly lawless oil field region has cut production.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7055163.stm

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