Video Shows Men Allegedly Taken by Boko Haram in Nigeria

Three University of Maiduguri workers allegedly abducted by Boko Haram Islamist militants during an ambush on an oil exploration team pleaded in a YouTube video released Friday for the Nigerian government to meet their captors’ demands. 

The video shows three men identifying themselves as staff at the university’s geology department. It was recorded on Friday and they are being held by a Boko Haram faction of Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the leader recognized by the Islamic State, said Solomon A. Yusuf, who spoke on behalf of the three in the video. They don’t say what their captors’ demands are.

The Maiduguri University

Photographer: Stefan Heunis/AFP via Getty Images

The video shows three of four missing University of Maiduguri employees, Dani Mamman, chairman of the university’s staff union, said by phone. “Seeing them in the video gives us hope they are alive and our hope is to get them freed,” he said.

Africa’s top oil producer is trying to expand exploration in areas outside the restive Niger River delta in the south where militant attacks on pipelines cut output to an almost 30-year low last year.

The July 25 attack on a Nigerian oil exploration team by militants killed at least 48 people, said hospital and military officials in the north eastern city of Maiduguri. The team, hired by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., which was concluding geological surveys in parts of the Lake Chad basin, may resume work when “there is security clearance,” Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said Thursday.

Calls to an NNPC spokesman did not connect and calls and text messages sent to a military spokesman did not get a response on Saturday.

— With assistance by Yinka Ibukun

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