Nigerian police and navy patrol boats intensified efforts Thursday to find a group of construction workers including three Australians, two Nigerians, a New Zealander and a South African kidnapped in an ambush that killed their driver, police said.
They were seized Wednesday by gunmen who held up their convoy that was under a police escort near Calabar, the capital of southeastern Cross River state, said police Commissioner Jimoh Ozi-Obeh.
Another Australian escaped, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
“A very intense search is on, with more patrol and surveillance teams dispatched to the rescue,” Ozi-Obeh told The Associated Press.
Nigerian newspapers quoted witnesses saying the hostages were forced onto a boat, meaning they could be anywhere in a maze of estuaries and mangrove swamps that dominate the state’s geography.
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