Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Hostage Crisis, Day 11

Hostage crisis? What on Earth are you talking about Atrios? What hostage crisis? What? You're telling me that 21 Americans have been held hostage for 11 days in Nigeria and I haven't heard anything about it? How is that possible?

LAGOS, Nigeria — Striking Nigerian (search) oil workers have taken about 100 foreign workers hostage on several offshore oil installations, company officials and union workers said Tuesday. The hostages include 21 Americans.

The strikers have been holding 97 foreign workers, including 35 Britons, aboard four offshore drilling rigs owned by Houston-based Transocean (search) since April 19. The events occurred in a remote area off the West African nation's coastline.

The rigs were drilling wells on behalf of oil multinationals Royal/Dutch Shell (search) and TotalFina Elf (search).

Western diplomats said the hostages included 21 Americans and 35 Britons. Their conditions were unclear, although there were no initial reports of injuries or deaths.