MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA - Two Americans and two Indonesians among the seven foreigners currently being held hostage after a group of gunmen attacked an oil rig and support vessel in Nigeria on Monday, officials said Friday.
A statement was released, suposedly from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), in which it revealed the names and nationalities of the seven hostages, adding that they were in good health.
"The seven individuals are all in good health and will be in our custody for a while," Jomo Gbomo, spokesman for the group known as MEND, said in the statement
"The abduction of the seven expatriates from the shallow-water Okoro oilfield in Akwa Ibom state was to prevent the Nigerian government from denying the attack on this facility," said MEND's spokesperson Jomo Gbomo in the statement said. "The seven individuals are all in good health and will be in our custody for a while."
Furthermore, it explained that the three French workers and the Thai worker were released because of their "poor state of health."
The Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria has confirmed the two abducted Indonesians. Embassy spokesman Reza Abdul Rozak said officials were working closely with the Nigerian government.
"We are cooperating with the company where our citizens work and also the Nigerian security officials, but we have not received any contact from the abductors," Reza said. "We have informed both ministries after we first heard about the abduction. We have also notified their families."
The statement named the seven abducted in the attack on London-based Afren PLC's oil rig as James Robertson and Jeffrey James of the United States; Patrick Weber and Mignon Gilles of France; Robert Croke of Canada; and Robert Tampubolon and Permana Nugraha of Indonesia.