Nigeria, June 13 (Reuters) – Gunmen in Nigeria killed two people and kidnapped a traditional ruler while they were attending church services in the oil-producing Niger Delta, police said on Sunday.
At least five others were injured in the attack on Eze Sunday Njoku, the traditional ruler of the Umuebulu community near the oil hub Port Harcourt in Rivers state.
“The hoodlums, who extracted (Njoku) from his seat inside the church, killed two people who reportedly attempted to block them,” said Rita Inoma-Abbey, spokeswoman for the Rivers state police.
“Several others also sustained gunshot injuries from stray bullets.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kidnappings for ransom are common in the Niger Delta, home to Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry, with hundreds of incidents reported each year. Most victims are released unharmed after a couple of days.
Foreign firms, ranging from oil to construction to telecoms, are forced to spend millions of dollars on security for their staff because of the high crime rate in the Niger Delta. (Reporting by Austin Ekeinde; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Matthew Jones)