Police say 15 Nigerians working for the energy company Nestoil have been abducted at gunpoint on the way to work. Kidnappings for ransom are common in several parts of Nigeria.
Police said the 15 oil workers were kidnapped in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta region on Friday.
A police spokesman, Deputy Superintendent Nnamdi Omoni, said all those abducted were Nigerians working for the local company Nestoil.
He said that the bus taking the employees to work was hijacked about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of their office in Nigeria's petroleum capital of Port Harcourt early on Friday morning.
"We have recovered the vehicle they were traveling in before the incident occurred. Police are currently combing bushes around the area in a bid to find and release the victims," Nnamdi said, adding that he did not believe foreigners were among those kidnapped.
The region has been hit by a series of militant attacks on energy facilities since the beginning of the year. The militants are calling for a larger share of the oil wealth to go to the impoverished locals.
Kidnappings are also common, with hostage usually being released unharmed after ransom payments are made.
Last month, 14 passengers were seized from a commuter bus near Port Harcourt. They were freed after two days, though it was unclear whether ransoms were paid.
tj/ (Reuters, AP)