Nigerian militants kidnap three Dutch

Niger Delta
Niger Delta environmental damageflickr / Sosialistisk Ungdom – SU

Nigerian militants have kidnapped three Dutch nationals from the Niger Delta on Sunday, two men and one woman, as well as two Nigerians accompanying the Dutch nationals. The kidnapping took place after heavy gunfire at Letugbene, a boundary community between Delta and Bayelsa State, local news states. 

According to the information from Sahara Reporters, the Dutch nationals were in the area to visit local healers and a hospital as part of an aid mission to gather information for a possible future health care project to help the 16 communities served by the hospital.

Local villagers report that armed militants came by speedboat to intercept the boat carrying the Dutch nationals, shot sporadically into the area and kidnapped the Dutch people. Some people traveling with the foreigners as well as local villagers were able to escape to safety or jump into the river.

The Dutch people were in the area with Dutch-based Nigerian activist Sunny Ofehe or Hope for Niger Delta Campaign.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague has not been able to confirm this incident. It is also unclear who the kidnappers were, and what they want. According to NOS correspondent Koert Lindjer, "kidnappings in the Niger Delta are big business. The time that this was done for political aims is long gone."