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Toddler Abducted in Violence-Prone Southern Nigeria


Authorities in southern Nigeria say the three-year-old daughter of a foreign oil worker has been kidnapped, the latest in a wave of abductions plaguing the oil-producing region.

The child was abducted Thursday in the oil city of Port Harcourt while she was being taken to school. Initial reports say the child is the daughter of a British national.

More than 200 foreign oil workers have been seized since the unrest began in 2006, including five expatriates abducted Tuesday from an oil rig operated by a local contractor for Shell Petroleum. Kidnappings of children are rare.

The expatriates have been taken during attacks on foreign oil installations by rebels demanding a greater share of Niger Delta's oil wealth be spent on its impoverished communities. The attacks have shut down nearly a quarter of Nigeria's daily oil production.

The region's main rebel group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), ended a one-month truce Tuesday with the new government of President Umaru Yar'Adua. It did not take responsibility for the raid on the Shell Petroleum facility.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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