Nigerian gunmen kidnap Russians

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Two workers of a Russian aluminium company have been kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria, the company says.

A statement from UC Rusal said the pair, workers at the Alscon aluminium smelter, were snatched in the town of Ikot Abasi in the Niger Delta.

Reports said gunmen in speedboats attacked the residential compound in the middle of the night.

The Russians' whereabouts were unknown, Itar-Tass news agency reported. Attacks on foreigners are common in Nigeria.

A statement from UC Ruscal said: "The two employees of the company were kidnapped. The company is taking all necessary measures to free the hostages as soon as possible."

More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped by militants in the Niger Delta, the heart of the country's oil industry, since 2006.

A collapse in law and order has allowed armed groups to make a living extorting money from oil companies that have to keep their operations going, correspondents say.