23rd September, 2010
Okafor ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said theyÂ have locatedÂ theÂ three abducted French nationals whose names could not be confirmed as at press time.
They were abducted from a vessel working on Addax offshore field and another individualÂ was also kidnapped in a separate incident on the same night.
In an online statement by Jomo Gbomo, MEND spokesman, the group said: â€œ We are inÂ negotiations with the abductors towards affecting a transfer of the men to the custody ofÂ MEND. When this is done, we will be in a better position to give further informationÂ about their state of health and the duration of their stay with us.â€
The three men were yesterday. The armed men used many speed boats for the operation.
The kidnappers shot sporadically into the air for some minutes in order to scare peopleÂ in the neighbourhood, before abducting their targets and disappearing into the creeks.
Besides the claim by Jomo Gbomo that MEND has located where the oil workers are, noÂ contact had been established between the kidnappers and the employers of the French men.
The latest kidnap has raised security concernsÂ in oil the industryÂ coming at a time ofÂ amnesty programme.
The Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha, said: “I canÂ confirm to you that there was an armed attack on a foreign vessel, off the coast ofÂ Bonny,Rivers State.”