U.S. woman missionary kidnapped in central Nigeria

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Rev. Phyllis Sortor missionary kidnapped in Nigeria
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U.S. woman missionary kidnapped in central Nigeria
American woman kidnapped in Kogi state by 5 men who shot in the air. Police say this is "purely criminal" and ransom has been demanded.
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(Reuters) - An American woman working as a Christian missionary in Nigeria was kidnapped overnight, the website of the Free Methodist Church and a security source said on Tuesday.

"Early this morning we received a report that Rev. Phyllis Sortor, our missionary in Nigeria, was abducted from the Hope Academy compound in Emiworo, Kogi State, Nigeria by several persons," the church said.

Nigeria is one of the world's worst country's for kidnapping, a major criminal enterprise that makes millions of dollars a year.

Criminal gangs have kidnapped scores of expatriates in southern and central Nigeria over the years. Central Kogi state has also had low level activity by Islamist militants linked to insurgent group Boko Haram, security sources say.

A U.S. State Department official said authorities had heard the reports but could not make further comments in the interest of privacy.

(Reporting by Tim Cocks; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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