Six Russians and one Estonian were, yesterday, kidnapped by unknown gunmen suspected to be pirates aboard their vessels along creeks and waterways of Bayelsa and Delta states. This development has provoked tension in the coastal communities in the area.
The abducted foreigners, according to sources, were workers of a French vessel company, Bourbon International Oil limited, who were part of a team of 15 workers.
Other eight workers on board the attacked vessel have arrived at the Nigerian Port at Onne. The attacked vessel is known as Bourbon Liberty 249.
The authorities of the Joint Military Task Force confirmed the attack and abduction of the foreigners, and reported that it occurred along the Pennington River.
The attacked vessel was believed to be sailing from the Pennington Offshore Terminal situated 16 miles south west of the entrance to the fish town river.
The area is housing submarine pipelines that extend north east from the terminal toward the shore and north to Middleton Oil Field.
The Media Coordinator of the JTF, Lt. Col. Oyeama Nwachukwu, told LEADERSHIP that the identity of the kidnapped expatriates and their kidnappers were yet to be ascertained but that a deployment of Naval elements and Military facilities along the Niger Delta have been put on red alert and have started combing the area for the abductors.
" I can confirm to you that some unknown gunmen attacked a vessel and abducted seven persons made up of six Russians and one Estonian national. We have deployed our naval elements to comb the area and track down the kidnappers. We have also alerted all operational base."