Gunmen wearing military fatigues seized two foreign oil workers on Thursday in southern Nigeria amid an upsurge of violence targeting the petroleum industry in Africa's oil giant, officials said.
Rivers State Police Commissioner Samuel Adetuyi said the Belgian and Moroccan were snatched early on Thursday as they travelled through the southern city of Port Harcourt, where many international energy firms make their bases in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer.
A private security official in the city said the hostage takers wore camouflage uniforms in the style of Nigeria's military.
The security worker, citing eyewitnesses, spoke on condition of anonymity due to company prohibitions on dealing with the media.
Southern Nigeria, where most of Nigeria's crude is pumped, has seen violence against the petroleum industry rising in recent days.
The kidnappings and attacks have forced a nearly 20 per cent reduction of Nigeria's usual 2.5 million barrel daily production, helping send crude prices soaring in international markets.
Late on Tuesday, gunmen stormed a boat heading to oil rigs far from Nigeria's coast, kidnapping four Norwegian and Ukrainian workers during a raid on the supply vessel owned by a Norwegian shipping firm, Trico Supply, company spokesman Bjorn Endresen said in Norway.