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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Foreign hostages freed in Nigeria
Militant in the Niger Delta
Foreigners are targeted for ransom kidnappings by militants
Two foreign construction workers have been released in Nigeria after being held hostage for three days in the oil-rich south-eastern Delta region.

The men, an Indian and a Lebanese, are being cared for by their employers, the Seratco road construction company, Delta's police chief said.

There is no news of a Dutchman abducted separately on the same day.

No group has claimed the kidnappings, the latest to hit foreigners working in Nigeria's oil industry.

About 60 foreigners - mostly oil workers - have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta so far this year, some by militant groups fighting for local control of the oil wealth.

The wave of attacks and kidnappings has led to a 25% cut in Nigeria's oil output.

Speedboat attack

Gunmen kidnapped the Indian and Lebanese near Warri in Delta State on Friday, police said.

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Brig Gen Alfred Ilogho, who heads a military task force in the Delta area, said the two men had been released because their abductors had been unable to take them further into local creeks, which had been blocked off.

No ransom was paid, he added, in remarks quoted by Reuters news agency.

A Dutch security manager of a German construction company was seized in the oil capital, Port Harcourt.

His abductors who arrived on the waterfront by a construction camp in three speedboats.

They are said to have exchanged heavy gunfire for several hours with guards before escaping with the man.

Increasingly hostages have also been taken by gangs of gunmen seeking ransoms.

As a result some oil and construction firms have pulled out and those that remain live under increasingly tight security.


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