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Kidnapped French oil workers freed in Nigeria

Latest update : 2008-09-06

Two French oil workers abducted in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt (photo) over a month ago have been released, according to a French foreign ministry statement. No details were provided on the circumstances surrounding their release.

 

Two French citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria early last month have been freed, France's foreign ministry said on Saturday.

 

The two had been seized near Nigeria's oil industry hub of Port Harcourt in the restive Niger Delta on Aug. 2.

 

The French foreign ministry said in a statement the pair, who were freed on Friday, were expected back in France in the next few days.

 

"France thanks the Nigerian authorities for their assistance in achieving this happy outcome," the ministry statement said.

 

Insecurity in Nigeria, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, has cut crude output by around a fifth since militants launched a campaign of sabotage in early 2006 to press for greater development in their neglected communities.

 

Criminal gangs have taken advantage of the breakdown in law and order, frequently kidnapping businessmen, local politicians and foreign workers for ransom.

 

Date created : 2008-09-06

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