Friday, January 27, 2006

Report Of New Hostage-Taking Was Wrong, Guardian Admits

The Guardian of Nigeria admits in Friday's editions that its Thursday report that four more hostages had been taken from a Royal Dutch Shell facility was in error.

Four Royal Dutch Shell hostages, who include an American, a Briton, a Honduran and Bulgarian, expect to be released soon, negotiators say.
Source: The Punch On The Web
The report was picked up by ERHC On The Move and added as one paragraph to our opening commentary on a German study of African terrorsim.

Here is the Guardian's front-page note on the non-event:

No fresh hostage-taking

INFORMATION and National Orientation Agency Minister, Frank Nweke (Jnr.), has refuted the report that four additional hostages have been held in the Niger Delta.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday, the minister said that a media report suggesting that more hostages were seized by militants could not be true since information gathered from all the appropriate quarters in the area were to the contrary.

According to him, the Federal Government, which has been in touch with the management of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the state governors in the affected areas, can confirm that no such incident took place.

While expressing worries about the source of such reports, he advised journalists to always cross-check their facts and also avoid any form of sensationalism in reporting sensitive issues that touch on the general interest of the nation and the people.

The whole matter of hostage-taking, he added, will come to a fruitful conclusion in about a few days.


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