Gunmen in Nigeria Abduct Three Dutch Nationals in Oil-Rich Delta

Gunmen in Nigeria abducted three Dutch nationals who were visiting the southern oil-rich Niger River delta, police said.

The expatriates were on a visit to Letugbene community in the region’s Bayelsa state to inspect a hospital they were planning to give assistance to when they were seized yesterday, Alex Akhigbe, a police spokesman, said today in the state capital, Yenagoa.

The Dutch citizens had traveled to the region “without security escorts,” he said. “We don’t have further details at the moment.”

Armed attacks, including sabotage of oil facilities and kidnappings, by militant groups in the region cut Nigeria’s oil output by 28 percent from 2006 to 2009. Though attacks declined after thousands of fighters accepted a government amnesty in 2008, armed groups remain active, often kidnapping for ransom.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and pumped 2.02 million barrels per day in April.

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