Britons held hostage in Nigeria

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The Independent Online

Five British oil rig workers were among 165 people being held hostage by a Nigerian gang which seized two Shell oil rigs in the south east of the country.

Five British oil rig workers were among 165 people being held hostage by a Nigerian gang which seized two Shell oil rigs in the south east of the country.

The families of the Britons are being contacted by the Foreign Office before their names are released.

The men have been held since Monday when 30 youths, demanding jobs for locals, stormed the two oil rigs near to the community of Bayelsa, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

A spokesman for Shell said negotiations with local leaders were to taking place in a bid to resolve the situation peacefully.

Shell spokesman James Herbert said the group had taken over the Malad Bay 70 and Malad Bay 75 drilling rigs, which were in Mangrove swamps about 62 miles north of Port Harcourt.

A year ago more than two dozen British nationals were captured by militant groups operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The hostages were all released unharmed.

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