Gunmen kidnap Lebanese, kill soldier in Bayelsa


Gunmen killed a Nigerian soldier and kidnapped a Lebanese construction worker on Tuesday in a shootout in Bayelsa, police said.

Pipeline attacks and violence have been on the rise in the swampland since authorities issued an arrest warrant in January for former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, on corruption charges.

“One Lebanese, Ramzi Bau Hadir, aged 53 years, was kidnapped by the armed bandits,” said police spokesman in Bayelsa, Butswat Asinim.

A resident said a second foreigner had been kidnapped but Asinim did not confirm this.

“It was a movie scene. The soldiers were shooting and the armed men were shooting,” a driver who gave his name as Monday told the Leadership newspaper. “We later saw signs of blood everywhere.”

Last month gunmen blew up an oil pipeline belonging to Italy’s ENI, killing three workers who had been repairing the pipe, according to officials.

In February militants staged a sophisticated underwater attack, probably using divers, on a Shell pipeline, shutting down the 250,000 barrel-a-day Forcados export terminal.

President Muhammadu Buhari, elected a year ago, has extended a multi-million dollar amnesty signed with the militants in2009, but he has upset them by ending generous pipeline protection contracts.