• Germany's news in English

Nigeria hunts kidnappers of two German workers

The Local · 12 Jul 2008, 16:22

Published: 12 Jul 2008 16:22 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We are fervently searching for the abductors with a view to securing the release of the Germans," Rivers state police spokeswoman Rita Abbey told AFP.

"The Germans were taken across the sea. But we hope to track down their captors very soon," she assured.

Abbey said a soldier was shot and wounded when unknown gunmen seized the two workers of construction firm Julius Berger in Port Harcourt on Friday. She could not confirm a report in the local press that the man had died.

“We are acting on the assumption that two German citizens have been kidnapped in Nigeria,” a spokesman of the German Foreign Office told news agency DDP in Berlin on Saturday.

The ministry’s crisis division is working intensively for the release of the two men, the spokesman said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, the latest to rock oil-rich Nigeria in recent months.

The Niger delta, home to the country's multi-billion-dollar oil and gas resources, has seen numerous kidnappings targeting foreign energy firms in the past two years.

The attacks are often claimed by some militants who demand a greater share of oil wealth for the region's inhabitants, while others carry out kidnappings for ransom or political reasons.

A Julius Berger employee abducted in March in Nigeria was released after several hours.

A senior Nigerian official of Julius Berger said the construction firm was "monitoring the situation" in the Niger delta following the kidnapping, but refused to say whether the incident could prompt it to pull out of the region.

Julius Berger, the Nigerian arm of German Bilfinger Berger, began operating in the country in 1965. Nigerian investors own 50.04 percent of the company while foreigners own 49.96 percent.

Story continues below…

Several foreign firms, including French tyre company Michelin and oil servicing firm Wilbros, have left the Niger delta because of security problems.

The unrest has reduced Nigeria's oil output by a quarter, causing Nigeria to lose its position as Africa's biggest oil producer to Angola, according to April figures from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd