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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 16:46 GMT
Kidnapped oil worker is released
Picture of the four hostages
Pictures were released last week of the hostages in captivity
A British oil worker kidnapped in Nigeria three weeks ago has been freed.

Nigel Watson-Clark, from Saltford near Bath, and three other foreigners were taken hostage by armed militants demanding more control over resources.

In a statement, his family from Carlisle, Cumbria said: "The time spent waiting to hear that he is safe has tested each of those that care for him. "We look forward now to when Nigel arrives safely in the UK and we can put the last 19 days behind us."

His family also thanked the Nigerian authorities, his employers Expro and everyone who had played a part in securing his safe release.

There's hostages all over the world who don't get away like these four have
George Watson-Clark

His mother Sheila, 76, and father George, 78, were woken on Monday by a phone call from their son to tell them he was free.

"He said he's fine. We're just happy he's alive and well," said Mr Watson-Clark.

"We've heard conflicting reports over the past few weeks. They build up your hopes and then they knock you down."

A militia group calling themselves the Movement for the Emancipation of the People of the Niger Delta seized the security guard and three colleagues on 11 January.

They demanded the Nigerian government free two detained leaders before letting the hostages go.

George Watson-Clark said he had feared for his son's safety, and had thought about possible bad news.

"Your mind does queer things in the middle of the night.

"There's hostages all over the world who don't get away like these four have."

A spokesman for the southern state of Bayelsa said the four were alive and well and with the state governor.

Mr Watson-Clark was in an elite band of security men who guard Nigeria's oil rigs.

The former paratrooper was snatched, together with an American, a Bulgarian and an Honduran, from an offshore oil platform.




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Man freed



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