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« Activists report on Nigeria corruption | Main | Nigeria confirms the release of nine Chinese workers by Joel Olatunde Agoi »

February 05, 2007

Militants free 9 Chinese oil workers in Nigeria

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nine Chinese oil workers abducted last month by militants in an armed attack in Nigeria's southern delta were released on Sunday, officials said.

Sun Feb 4, 5:38 AM ET

The men were kidnapped on January 25 in a raid on the offices of the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), which was doing a seismic study in the Sagbama area of Bayelsa state for Royal Dutch Shell. One attacker was killed in the incident.

"The nine Chinese workers were unconditionally released and they are all in good health. No ransom was paid," a spokesman for Bayelsa state government said.

China's Foreign Ministry said the men were released early on Sunday and are expected to return home in the near future.

On January 18, five Chinese telecommunications workers were released two weeks after being kidnapped for ransom in Nigeria.

Nigeria has seen a spate of abductions of foreign workers, who have been held by different armed groups in Africa's top oil producer, where militancy has surged over the past year.

Oil industry executives see the delta region descending further into anarchy as Nigeria's landmark general elections set for April approach.

Posted by Publisher at February 5, 2007 02:31 PM

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