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Russia confirms abducted woman in Nigeria is Belarussian

Posted by Xinhua on 2007/05/07 | Views: 842 |

Russia confirms abducted woman in Nigeria is Belarussian


Russia on Sunday confirmed that the woman who was abducted in Nigeria over the weekend was a Belarussian national, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

MOSCOW, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Sunday confirmed that the woman who was abducted in Nigeria over the weekend was a Belarussian national, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

"Staff members of the embassy managed to find out that the abducted woman is Belarussian citizen Irina Ekpo-Umo," counselor Viktor Goncharov of the Russian diplomatic mission in Nigeria was quoted as saying.

The Belarussian Foreign Ministry said the victim is on a consular record at one of Belarussian diplomatic missions.

"A witness of the abduction of Irina Ekpo-Umo, who allegedly is a Belarussian citizen, called the British embassy in Lagos," the Interfax news agency said, citing Belarussian Ambassador to Britain Alexander Mikhnevich.

The embassy informed the Belarussian Foreign Ministry of the call and later asked Nigerian police to search for the abducted female, who had left for Nigeria from Britain.

Ekpo-Umo, a senior female executive from catering contractor Whassan Eurest Nigeria Limited, was abducted by unidentified militants outside her residence in Port Harcourt, the capital of Nigeria's southeastern Rivers State, at about 8:00 p.m. (1900 GMT)Saturday, said local police.

The Russian embassy in Nigeria will try to free the victim, who married a Nigerian and has four children, since Belarus has no diplomatic mission there, Goncharov said.

This was the second time that a woman has been kidnapped in southeastern Nigeria. In February, a Philippine woman, married to an Iranian, was kidnapped in Port Harcourt.

Since the beginning of this year, more than 80 foreigners have been kidnapped in Nigeria's oil producing Niger Delta.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer with a daily crude output of 2.6 million barrels. However, recurrent kidnapping has frightened thousands of foreign oil workers away since last year, forcing the oil production to be cut by nearly 25 percent.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.