FOUR British missionaries have been kidnapped by armed militia in Nigeria.

The Niger Delta state police said the latest kidnapping of foreign citizens was in the oil-rich southern area of the country, which has seen a spate of such incidents over the years.

Police are hopeful of completing a successful rescue of the people.

The identity of the gunmen behind the plot is not known.

Police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka. "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," said Aniamaka.

"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."

The Niger Delta holds most of Nigeria's crude oil and attracts many foreign nationals to work there.

There have been a number of attacks on energy plants in the area ove rthe past year, but none so far in 2017.