4 British missionaries kidnapped in southern Nigeria

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Four British citizens who were providing humanitarian services in southern Nigeria have been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, a local police official said on Wednesday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack happened on Friday when five gunmen stormed a small community along a creek in the southern Delta state. The group forced four British missionaries to go with them, according to police, adding that they haven’t been heard from since.

“The victims are of British nationality, two of whom are a couple, and have been rendering humanitarian services in the area for a while,” police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka told AFP. “There is a militant group that has been operating in the area and we believe they are the ones behind the abduction.”

The victims – whose names were not immediately released – had been providing free medical care and religious services in the area for about 3 years. Britain’s Foreign Office did not immediately respond to a request for further information.

The kidnapping happened in a community known as Enukorowa. Foreigners and other high-profile individuals are often targeted by gangs in Nigeria’s southern region, although the victims are usually released once a ransom has been paid.

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