Four Britons have been kidnapped in Nigeria, state police have confirmed.
Officers in the country’s southern Delta state are attempting to rescue the missionaries who were taken by unidentified gunmen on October 13, police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka told Reuters.
The Brits are believed to be in the country providing “free medical services”.
Aniamaka said: “The abductors have not made any contact but we are doing our investigations to know the motive and have them rescued without jeopardising their lives.
“Information available to us shows they are missionaries giving free medical services,” he said, adding that the British nationals had been working in a very rural area.
Community chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community of Delta state, told Sky News that residents were “saddened” by the disappearance of the group, who had “brought succour” to the community for three years.
According to AFP, it is believed that two of the people who have been abducted are a couple.
Kidnapping for ransom has long been a common problem in parts of Nigeria.
A number of foreigners have, in the last few years, been kidnapped in the Niger Delta region, which holds most of the country’s crude oil - the country’s economic mainstay.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to parts of Delta State in Nigeria, saying there’s a “high chance of kidnap” throughout the country.
Government advice reads: “If you’re working or travelling in areas where there is a Boko Haram presence, especially in the north-east of Nigeria, you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnap.
“There is a high threat of criminal kidnap in the Niger Delta region and Kogi state. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, and can be motivated by criminality or terrorism.”