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Gunmen Kidnap Seamen in Niger Delta Region

A Nigerian naval official says gunmen attacked a German cargo ship and kidnapped 12 sailors off the coast of the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

Navy spokesman David Nabaida told reporters the gunmen attacked late Friday, shooting one crew member and taking the others hostage. The condition of the shooting victim is unclear.

Nabaida says the navy gained control of the ship, the BBC Polonia, and are searching for the gunmen.

Militants in the Niger Delta have carried out attacks on the oil industry in the delta region since 2006, demanding that the region's residents get more of Nigeria's oil wealth.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathon has made a priority of reviving an amnesty program with rebels in the in the Niger Delta.

Thousands of militants handed in their weapons last year as part of an amnesty deal offered by the late president Umaru Yar'Adua.

The militants were promised an education and jobs as part of the agreement. However, the process stalled when Mr. Yar'Adua became ill last November. He died in May.

Mr. Jonathan's administration said it would re-launch the amnesty program and will offer education and job training that officials hope will eventually reach 20,000 former militants.

More than four years of attacks on the pipelines have sharply cut Nigeria's oil output, allowing Angola to rival the country as Africa's leading oil producer.

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