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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 18:38 GMT
American hostage freed in Nigeria
An American engineer and his Nigerian driver, who were taken hostage by gunmen in Nigeria's Delta region, have been freed.

The two were seized by armed men in January, together with a British man who was later freed on health grounds.

The men were handed over to local officials late on Saturday.

Scores of foreign workers have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta region in recent months. At least four foreigners are still being held.

In many cases, hostages are freed after their companies or local government officials pay ransoms. The details of the latest releases are not known, however.

The three hostages were working for Pivot, an engineering and construction services company. They were heading to work on 23 January when they were seized by gunmen in Port Harcourt.

The instability in the region has cut Nigeria's oil production by at least 20%, costing the country some $4.4bn (2.2bn) last year, according to the government.

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