SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Kidnapped Germans still missing in Nigeria, officials say

Nigerian security agents are still searching for two Germans kidnapped at the weekend in the southeastern state of Abia, a police spokesman said on Thursday.

Kidnapped Germans still missing in Nigeria, officials say
Photo: DPA

“We have not heard anything yet about the two Germans. We have not given up on them, we are still searching for them,” Abia State police spokesman Ali Okechukwu told AFP.

“We are working in conjunction with our counterparts in (nearby) Akwa Ibom State to ensure that we get a useful clue,” he said.

The two Germans – aged 45 and 55 – were kidnapped on Sunday near the Imo river.

The German government had said on Monday that diplomats were working to secure their release.

In Lagos, at the German consulate, the answer was “no news.”

“We are not commenting on such matters,” a diplomat said.

A Nigerian security source said one of the men works in Port Harcourt, the oil city capital of Rivers State, while the other came from Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Okechukwu said that information gathered from locals indicated that the two foreigners came to the river to swim in the company of three young Nigerian women and a driver, but without police escorts.

The kidnappers whisked away the Germans after the swimming while the girls ran into the bush with the driver. The abductors and the Germans headed for Akwa Ibom State, said Okechukwu.

Hundreds of foreigners and locals, mostly oil workers – have been kidnapped since 2006 in Nigeria, mostly in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Many have been released unharmed, but some only after ransom payments.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

SHOW COMMENTS