Gunmen kidnap 11 from bus near Nigeria oil hub

2017-08-29 21:01
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Port Harcourt - Gunmen abducted 11 people from a bus as they travelled close to Nigeria's southern oil hub Port Harcourt late on Monday, a passenger who escaped from the attack told AFP.

The region near Port Harcourt is a known hotspot for kidnappings by groups looking to receive ransom pay-offs and was the scene of an abduction that saw 16 people snatched earlier this month.

"They ambushed us at about 21:00 ... and after asking us to come out from the bus, they tried to take us inside the bush. But five of us escaped before police and military personnel arrived," said Amiekro Princewill.

Security forces searched the area following the attack, according to another passenger who managed to escape the gunmen.

"They had gone far into the forest with the victims before the security operatives arrived," said the escapee, Bright Belekwe.

"Hoodlums ambushed us and tried to take us inside the bush. I and four others escaped before police personnel arrived at the scene."

The kidnapping is the third such incident in just two months.

Regional police commissioner Ahmed Zaki confirmed the kidnapping at a press conference at force headquarters in Port Harcourt, adding that efforts to locate the victims were ongoing.

"The incident is quite unfortunate and the police is on top of the situation in ensuring that the hoodlums are arrested and brought to book," he said.

Kidnapping for ransom used to be confined to Nigeria's oil-rich south, where criminal gangs would typically target expatriate workers.

But the practice has spread across the country as the economy has faltered with Control Risks consultancy warning that the phenomenon has become "entrenched" nationwide.

Nnamdi Obasi, senior Nigeria researcher at the International Crisis Group, said poverty had made "anybody" a target and had led to a rise in "spontaneous" kidnappings.

Most victims are usually released unhurt after ransom money is paid.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.