October 11, 2016 - 8:00 AM
BUCHAREST, Romania - Armed men have abducted a Romanian engineer in southern Nigeria in what appears to be the latest hostage-for-ransom incident, Romania's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry said the armed men attacked a group of foreigners Monday evening at a railway construction site in Agbor in Delta state.
The state's Police Deputy Superintendent Kalu Amadi Celestina identified the engineer as Christian Nedelcu and said he was taken "after an exchange of sporadic gunshots between security escorts of the Romanian and the abductors."
The engineer works for Dextron Nigeria Ltd, a construction firm, police said.
Romania's foreign ministry said Romania's embassy has asked Nigerian authorities to locate and rescue the man, whose family has been informed. Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu activated a crisis cell to handle the situation.
Kidnappings of Nigerians and foreigners are common all over the country. In the oil-rich southern Niger Delta, they are carried out by ordinary criminals as well as militants demanding a greater share of oil riches for locals.
Hostages are usually released unharmed after ransom payments.
Associated Press writer Hilary Uguru in Warri, Nigeria, contributed.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016