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Wife of Shell Official, 2 Others Kidnapped: Nigerian Navy sinks militants’ boats

Wife of Shell Official, 2 Others Kidnapped

Navy sinks militants’ boats

From Ahamefula Ogbu in Port Harcourt, 08.07.2008

Kidnappers Tuesday, at about 10.30 pm., struck along Rumukurushi, Rivers State and kidnapped wife of Don Obomanu, a staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, her friend, Gloria, and her driver.

The kidnappers are demanding N150 million ransom.

The trio were returning from a local political meeting where Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Mr Dakuku Peterside, was in attendance when they were accosted by heavily armed men.

Calls to Peterside’s phones were unanswered.

The kidnap is coming on the heels of a reported clash between Naval component of Joint Task Force, at Cawthorn Channel, when two boats occupied by militants engaged them in a shoot out.

After about an hour of exchange of fire two of the militants’ boats were destroyed while the hoodlums abandoned another, which the Naval men towed to their base.

Items recovered included a grenade, general purpose machine gun and a lot of ammunitions.

Spokesman of the Joint Task Force in Rivers State, Lt Colonel Sagir Musa, confirmed the kidnap, but said details were still scanty.

Naval Spokesman, Lieutenant Olabisi Way, confirmed the attack adding that his men overwhelmed the militants who were in three boats.

“Yes, there was a clash between our men and militants in Cawthorn Channel today (yesterday). The militants were in three boats when they sighted the naval patrol team and immediately opened fire on them. After fierce gun battle, the Navy overpowered them and two of their boats were sunk, while one was recovered and towed to our base. We recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and several rounds of ammunition, one grenade and a boat.,” he said.

“There were no casualties on our side, but there must be serious toll on the hoodlums who have been making the area unsafe. We are committed to keeping the state for all law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Spokesman for SPDC, Mr Precious Okolobo, confirmed that wife of one of the staff was kidnapped and that, “we commiserate with the family at this trying time and will do everything to ensure her safe release.

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