A 3-year-old girl was kidnapped from her car as it sat idling in heavy morning traffic, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Gunmen smashed the window of a car carrying the British tot, Margaret Hill, snatching her on the way to school Thursday.
More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in the region since 2005, when militants stepped up their campaign against the area’s oil industry. While 2 other children have been seized in the Niger delta in recent weeks, this was the first time militants have seized a foreign child. Family acquaintances stated that Margaret’s father works in the oil industry.
An influential chief of the ethnic Ijaw people, which predominately habitat the area, stated that “Taking an innocent child by force is a criminal act that should be roundly condemned by Nigerians.” In the past, kidnappers have focused primarily on foreign oil workers, who were presumed to have the money for ransom payments. The 2 other kids kidnapped in recent weeks were children belonging to wealthy Nigerians. Both were released within days and without injury.