British nationals kidnapped in Nigeria's delta region

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The Most Rev Justin Welby has previously negotiated the release of hostages in the Niger Delta where David Donovan, a former GP from Cambridge, his wife, Shirley, and two other volunteers were kidnapped last week.

Gunmen suspected to be militants on Wednesday kidnapped four British nationals in Delta State.

Aniamaka said the four had been providing medical aid in the country and that police were attempting to rescue them.

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"Immediately the militants struck, they whisked the victims to the interior regions of the creek where we believe they are being held for the past five days".

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was aware of the hostage situation in Nigeria but declined to comment further on the case.

The police are attempting to rescue the four people, who were taken by unidentified gunmen on October 13, said Andrew Aniamaka, a spokesman for Delta state police.

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"From the intelligence we have, the kidnap may not be unconnected to the onslaught on militant activities by the military".

Kidnapping for ransom is a nationwide problem in certain parts of Nigeria and the Niger Delta region has seen a rise in crime over the past few years.

Chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community, told the Agence France-Presse news agency that villagers were saddened by the kidnapping because the victims had "brought succour to residents of the community for the past three years".

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