Five expat contractors were taken abducted yesterday during an attack on a Shell oil rig in the Niger Delta, just as a rebel group responsible for many similar attacks called off a one-month truce. The hostages include two New Zealanders, one Australian, one Lebanese and one Venezuelan; more than 200 expats have been kidnapped since the start of 2006.
The group—Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta—denies any involvement, Bloomberg reports, but has carried out similar attacks in what they say is an effort to channel oil revenues to impoverished locals. Nigeria's new president, Umaru Yar'Adua, has promised to bring peace to the region and has reached out to to a number of rebel groups. (Read more Africa stories.)