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Archive for Tuesday, August 15, 2006

American among latest kidnap victims

August 15, 2006

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— Gunmen wearing military uniforms went into a nightclub and dragged out four foreign oil workers - two Britons, an American and a German - in the latest abduction targeting petroleum industry workers in Africa's largest crude-producing country.

State police spokeswoman Irejua Barasua said Britons Brayan Fogerty and John Gruyan work for construction and military contractor Halliburton Co. and Smith International unit Smith Bits, respectively. Both firms are based in Houston.

She said the other captives, American Royce Antony Parait and German Gerhard Ezeth, worked for two other oil industry firms.

Nigeria's oil-rich southeastern delta has seen 14 abductions in the last week. The kidnappings and sabotage attacks have been carried out by militants who believe the impoverished region does not benefit from its oil. They have cut Nigerian production by more than 20 percent since the beginning of the year. Most kidnap victims in the delta are returned unharmed.

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