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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gunmen Kidnap 18 In Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped 18 foreign workers in three attacks in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta region, authorities said Thursday.

Three Koreans and eight Filipinos were abducted from a power plant construction site in Rivers State, while six foreigners of unknown nationality were seized from an Italian-operated offshore oil field.

Diplomats said a Dutch man was also seized from a bar on the outskirts of Warri on Wednesday night, bringing the total number of foreigners kidnapped in the region since Tuesday to 24.

The abductions are the latest in a series of militant raids on Western oil facilities since February last year that has led to oil output being reduced by 600,000 barrels per day, or one-fifth of production capacity.

It was not immediately clear whether Saipem and SBM Offshore, the operators of the 50,000-barrel-per-day Okono and Okpoho oil fields, halted oil production because of the attack.

Saipem parent company Eni confirmed that hostages were taken, but did not specify how many. Security sources in Nigeria said there were six.

The three Koreans seized in the attack were senior managers of industrial conglomerate Daewoo who had just arrived in Nigeria, a security source in Nigeria said.

Diplomats said no one was injured in that abduction, although it was accompanied by heavy gunfire.