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10 Oil Workers Taken Hostage by Villagers

April 05, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Villagers stormed a boat servicing a drilling rig off Nigeria's southern coast, taking hostage the 10 international and Nigerian oil workers aboard, Shell Oil said.

The workers, one of whom is American, were captured Tuesday by 40 villagers from Amatu in Bayelsa state, Shell International spokesman James Herbert said.

The abductors demanded employment, oil contracts and other help from Shell in return for the workers' safe release, Herbert said.

The young men, ethnic Ijaws, were apparently angered by the destruction of several boats during an armed standoff in January between Nigerian security forces and Ijaw villagers, local newspapers reported.

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