Tuesday 21 November 2017

Nigerian police in shoot-out with gang that kidnapped Britons

Nigerian police in shoot-out with gang that kidnapped Britons
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
Nigerian police believe militants who have attacked oil and gas pipelines in the oil-rich Niger delta region are behind the kidnapping

Nigerian police investigating the kidnapping of four British missionaries said Thursday that they had arrested two people suspected of involvement while a third was killed in a shoot-out at the gang's hideout.

The Britons, from a Christian medical charity providing free healthcare in villages in Delta state, in Nigeria's oil-rich south, were abducted on October 13.

The foreign ministry in London announced Monday that three of the hostages were released and returned home safely while a fourth was killed in captivity, without giving further details.

Delta state police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka said Thursday that two suspects were arrested in the oil hub of Warri on Wednesday.

After questioning, they led officers to their hideout, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the north in the town of Sapele.

"At Sapele, the team had tried to arrest (a third suspect) who immediately brought out a Beretta (pistol) in an attempt to shoot at the operatives," he said.

"This led to a shoot-out which resulted in the death of the suspect while others fled the scene."

Two officers were shot and injured and were said to be in a stable condition in hospital, he added. The account was corroborated by a source at Nigeria's intelligence agency.

Four people suspected of involvement in the abduction had already been arrested on October 19.

Kidnapping for ransom is rife in southern Nigeria, where high-profile individuals and their families are a frequent target for criminal gangs.

Victims are usually released after a few days once payment is made.

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