Four Catholic nuns reported kidnapped in southern Nigeria

A group of armed men have kidnapped this Sunday four nuns from a Catholic congregation in the city of Okigwe, in southern Nigeria, when they were on their way to the neighboring town of Umulolo to attend a religious service.

The victims belong to the congregation of the Sisters of Jesus the Savior, whose main responsible, Sister Zita Ihedoro, has reported what happened in a statement echoed by several Nigerian media.

“Dear brothers and sisters of Christ, it is with great sorrow that we inform you of the kidnapping of four of our sisters”, the religious sisters Johannes Nwodo, Christabel Echemazu, Liberata Mbamalu and Benita Agu, for whom she asked for “intense prayers” in order to achieve a “rapid and safe release”.

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In recent times some localities located between the states of Imo and Abia in southern Nigeria have suffered an increase in kidnappings. The latest, just over a week ago, when armed men abducted a priest and a seminarian on the road linking Okigwe and Umunneochi.

Both were released last week after a ransom was paid. Worse fate has befallen a police officer in Umunneochi, Abia state, whose whereabouts are unknown after he was assaulted by gunmen, the Nigerian daily ‘Premiu Times’ has compiled.

Several people have been abducted in recent months in some of the towns bordering these two regions. While some were released soon after after the payment of a ransom, sometimes up to one hundred million naira (about 240,000 euros), others are still missing.

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