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Nigerian Militants Kidnap 5 Koreans

Posted June. 08, 2006 03:01,   


Five Koreans working at a construction site of Daewoo E&C in Nigeria were kidnapped by a local militant group around midnight, June 7.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) and Daewoo E&C, the five abductees are three employees of Daewoo E&C, including director Kim Sang-bum (45), one employee of KOGAS, and another from the Korean Gas Technology Corporation. They were kidnapped at a marine structure made up to gather gas at an oilfield in Cawthorne near Port Harcourt, Niger Delta of Nigeria.

The workers were sleeping in their living quarters in the structure before they were kidnapped. The militants were on boats and used firearms, including rocket guns, to damage six ships at the construction site, when they were near the structure. After that, they abducted five Korean workers and one local worker.

At that time, 13 navy men were guarding the construction site, but they failed to dispute the militant group’s attack.

A MOFAT official said, “We are trying to identify the militant group. Still, the militant group has not given any reason for the kidnap or conditions for a release”

According to foreign sources, including the Associated Press (AP), a militant group known as MEND, a group seeking independence for the Niger Delta, claimed responsibility for the abduction and it reportedly said that six soldiers of the Nigerian government were killed in the process.

The MOFAT has opened a foreign counter-terror office, placing Yoo Myung-hwan, the first deputy chief, as the director. In Nigeria, Yi Ki-dong, the Korean Ambassador, has launched a task force to make negotiations with the militant group.

Myoung-Gun Lee Seung-Heon Lee gun43@donga.com ddr@donga.com