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Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2007

Hostage takers release 2 captives

April 5, 2007

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— Kidnappers on Wednesday released two foreign oil workers abducted in Nigeria's restive southern oil region.

The Dutch and British nationals were freed in southern Bayelsa state and were in "very good health," said Godknows Igali, a government official who helped mediate their release. He spoke by telephone from the region.

Igali said criminals, not militants battling government troops, were responsible for the kidnappings.

Gunmen in speedboats seized the British oil worker Saturday from an oil rig off Nigeria's impoverished Niger River delta region. The Dutch man was taken at gunpoint from his company compound.

Two Lebanese and two Chinese remain in captivity after a yearlong period that has seen more than 150 foreigners kidnapped, including more than 70 just since the start of 2007.

Some of the kidnappers make political demands, while other gangs demand large cash payments. Most kidnapped foreigners are released unharmed.

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