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Kidnapped oil workers freed in Nigeria

Posted by Telegrapgh on 2006/01/30 | Views: 1047 |

Kidnapped oil workers freed in Nigeria


A British oil worker being held hostage along with three colleagues by a militia in Nigeria has been released, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

A British oil worker being held hostage along with three colleagues by a militia in Nigeria has been released, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Nigel Watson-Clark, from Saltford, near Bath, had been in captivity along with an American, a Bulgarian and a Honduran since they were captured by armed gunmen at a Shell offshore oil rig on Jan 11.

The militia group which abducted them, the previously unknown Movement for the Emancipation of the People of the Niger Delta, originally said it would only release the captives if the government freed two detained leaders of the ethnic Ijaw group.

The kidnappers' conditions were reportedly not met before the hostages - including father-of-four Mr Watson-Clark - were released.

A Foreign Office spokesman said today: "The men are free. They are in the hands of Nigerian officials."

Mr Watson-Clark, a security guard who lives with his girlfriend Briony Tomkies, was about to return home from a four-week stint patrolling oilfields when he was abducted at gunpoint along with his colleagues.

Shell workers on the platform in the Niger Delta have been taken hostage twice in the past year.

A Croatian was seized in December 2004 and freed days later. Two Germans and four Nigerian oil workers were similarly taken hostage in June and later freed.

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