Foreigners abducted from oil compound in Nigeria
LAGOS, June 2 (Reuters) Gunmen dressed as riot police have abducted some foreign workers from the residential compound of oil services giant Schlumberger in Nigeria's oil city Port Harcourt, police said today.
Kidnapping has become an almost daily occurrence in the anarchic Niger Delta, home to Africa's largest oil industry, and about 30 foreigners are now being held by various armed groups in the vast wetlands region.
''Some expats were kidnapped from the club of Schlumberger Anadrill in a residential area last night,'' said Rivers state police commissioner Felix Ogbaudu, adding that the abductors were dressed as riot police.
A security source with an oil company in the area said he thought four foreigners were abducted, but the company was conducting a head count to ascertain the exact number.
Attacks on oil facilities and kidnappings have forced thousands of foreign workers to flee and forced Western oil companies to reduce output by almost a third.
Some armed groups say they are fighting for more autonomy for the impoverished oil province of southern Nigeria, but the line between militancy and crime is blurred and most abductions are by groups seeking ransom.
Reuters JT GC1300