Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nigerian Rebels Kidnap Child of Oil Worker

Update: The child has been released safely

A disturbing turn of events in Nigeria, where the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have kidnapped the 9 year old son of an oil worker and killed the child's 11 year old sister as she tried to protect her little brother (via Reuters):
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Gunmen shot dead an 11-year-old Nigerian girl and abducted her 9-year-old brother as they walked to school in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt on Thursday, police said.

Their father worked for Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) in Port Harcourt, the hub of Africa's top oil and gas industry, a company spokesman said.

Violent crime has surged in the Niger Delta since militants, who claim to be fighting for a fairer share of the region's natural resources, launched a campaign of sabotage against the oil industry three years ago.

The attackers shot the girl as she tried to prevent them from dragging her brother into a car in the Rumuokwuta area of central Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state.

"A red Honda car intercepted them on the way (to school). The gunmen came out of the vehicle and grabbed the boy," said Rita Inoma-Abbey, police spokeswoman for Rivers.

"While the sister was struggling with them, she was shot. The gunmen went away with the boy. Passers-by rushed the girl to hospital but she died on the road."

Please lift up this grieving family in your prayers, and pray for the protection of this kidnapped little boy. We mourn the loss of the young girl who tried so valiantly to save her brother, sacrificing her life for him. May her sacrifice be rewarded by the safe return of the abducted child, and may the justice of both God and man be brought against the captors.

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