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Shell employee kidnapped in Nigeria: army

(AFP) – Sunday 27 June 2010

LAGOS — Nigerian kidnappers have seized a local employee of Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell in the country’s oil hub of Port Harcourt, a military spokesman said Sunday.

“I heard that a Shell worker has been kidnapped in Port Harcourt. But I don’t have the details,” Colonel Timothy Antigha, spokesman for the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta told AFP.

Shell spokesman Tony Okonedo declined to comment on the incident, saying “the company does not speak on security issues”.

Rivers state police spokeswoman Rita Abbey was quoted by local media as saying local Shell worker Grace Unatoru was abducted along Tombia road in Port Harcourt on Friday night by unknown gunmen.

The whereabouts of Grace, whose husband also works for Shell, were unknown, the papers said.

They said the kidnappers had made contact with the woman’s husband and demanded a ransom for her release.

Hundreds of people, most but not all of them linked to the oil sector, have been kidnapped in the restive Niger Delta in the past three and a half years.

Most have been released after a few days or a few weeks in captivity, very often after the payment of a ransom.

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