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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Pressure mounts after ransom call
Niger Delta
There has been a spate of kidnappings in the area
Pressure has been mounting on a militant group which has taken oil workers from an Aberdeen-based firm hostage in Nigeria.

Three men from Sparrows Offshore were among those kidnapped last Tuesday.

Diplomatic negotiations for the release of the men being held hostage continued over the weekend.

The Nigerian army was reported to be on the trail of the kidnappers and at least one arrest was said to have been made.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the weekend brought no official change to the position of the men who were kidnapped.

Ransom demand

However, the Nigerian media has reported a build-up of both political and military pressure on the group who carried out the gunpoint attack.

The militant group involved is said to have demanded 21m for the four British men involved.

Sparrows said it was continuing to work with the FCO, local police and advisers in Nigeria.

One of the kidnapped workers has been named as engineer Paul Smith, from Peterhead.

There has been a wave of kidnappings of oil workers by militants in the country seeking ransoms. Victims are often released a few days after being taken.

The FCO is advising against all but essential travel to the area.


SEE ALSO
Talks amid kidnap 'ransom demand'
06 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
Kidnapped workers 'still alive'
05 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
Oil workers released in Nigeria
04 Oct 06 |  Africa
More oil kidnappings in Nigeria
14 Aug 06 |  Africa

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