Nigeria: May 2, 2003


 After 13 days, some 80 Nigerian oil workers continue to hold 170 Nigerian and 97 foreign (including 35 Britons and 21 Americans) oil workers hostage on four off shore oil rigs. The hostage takers are demanding that five of their union leaders, fired for corrupt practices, be rehired, and that the workers be paid large bonuses. Such extortion is common in Nigeria, as are corrupt government and union officials. Nigerian warships are standing close to each of the rigs, but the hostage takers threaten to set the rigs on fire if force is used to free the hostages. 


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