Nigeria group frees Korean hostages

Five South Korean contract workers who were kidnapped from a Shell gas plant in Nigeria have been released, their kidnappers say.

    MEND has claimed responsibility for several kidnappings (file)

    A South Korean company confirmed on Thursday a statement by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which said it had handed the hostages over to a Nigerian senator at 4pm (1500GMT).

    "Negotiations with the militant groups were successful and all of the five workers are about to return," a spokesman for Daewoo Engineering and Construction said by telephone.

    Three of the kidnapped South Koreans work for Daewoo while the other two are with Korea Gas.

    MEND said it released the five in response to an appeal by Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, a prominent militant leader jailed last year whose freedom they had demanded in exchange for the hostages' release.

    Mujahid Dokubo Asari had called
    for the hostages' release

    It was unknown how or where Dokubo-Asari made the appeal.

    The group said it had handed over the South Koreans to David Brigidi, an ethnic Ijaw member of the Nigerian Senate who has spoken out in favour of securing greater local control of oil wealth.

    They did not say where the handover occurred.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.