- They were taken by unidentified gunmen
Four Britons serving as medical missionaries in Southern Nigeria have been kidnapped by a militant group.
A former general practitioner from Cambridge, David Donovan, and his wife Shirley, were taken from their home in a rural area of Delta State on October 13th, according to The Times.
The two other victims were identified by police only by their first names: “Alana” and “Tyan”.
The doctor and his wife, both 57, work with New Foundations, a Christian medical mission that provides help to remote villages in the Niger Delta.
They have served as missionaries for 14 years. In 2003 they launched a boat clinic serving isolated villages. Four years later they set up a health clinic in one of those villages where child mortality was high, according to The Times.
In the last two years they conducted 500 cataract operations, treated 16,000 patients, vaccinated 4,000 children and set up rain-harvesting systems in eight villages. They have also been providing Bible training.
On October 17th, police brought in 14 people suspected of involvement in the militant group and said that a joint task force would make a rescue attempt.
The group thought to be responsible is known for making ransom demands.
Zanna Ibrahim, the police commissioner for the state, said that recent kidnappings may be linked to the government’s stepped-up efforts to counter militancy.
A police spokesman said: “The abductors have not made any contact but we are doing our investigations to know the motive and have them rescued without jeopardizing their lives.”