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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 00:20 GMT 01:20 UK
Oil workers released in Nigeria
Six foreign oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria 10 days ago have been released, according to government officials.

The men - two Britons, an American, an Irishman, a Pole and one other - were taken from a nightclub in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt.

"I appreciate everything everybody's done for us. We're having champagne," the American Royce Parfait told the Associated Press by phone.

The men were among a number of workers taken in a recent spate of abductions.

There was no information on who might have snatched the men.

They were kidnapped from the Port Harcourt nightclub on 13 August. Reports said gunmen entered the club and began shooting in the air, sending customers diving for cover.

Lucrative business

Last week, Nigerian police launched a crackdown on armed groups believed responsible for the wave of kidnappings.

More than 100 people were arrested, though most were reportedly later released.

Oil industry sources say hostage-taking has become an attractive business, as oil companies strike clandestine ransom deals - frowned upon by the government.

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