Six hostages released in Nigeria

The five Chinese and one Italian had been seized over the last two months.

    One of three Italian workers taken hostage in December has been freed [EPA] 

    Dieghi was among three Italian and one Lebanese man seized in a December 7 raid on an oil export terminal operated by Agip, a subsidiary of Italian oil firm Eni SpA.

    Eni confirmed Dieghi's release in a brief statement posted on its website, and said he was in good health and undergoing medical checkups at Eni's base in the Nigerian oil hub of Port Harcourt.

    Working on release

    The company said it was continuing to work with Nigerian authorities and Italy's foreign ministry towards the release of the three other workers still held captive.

    However, the fighters said no discussions were under way.

    "There are no discussions ongoing about the release of the remaining two Italians and one Lebanese still in our custody," the Mend statement said. "They are being held indefinitely."

    Nigerian account

    Nigerian government officials and the Chinese foreign ministry said the five Chinese telecommunications workers kidnapped on January 5 had been freed on Wednesday night.

    No group had claimed responsibility for their capture and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta had denied it was involved.

    Asked if a ransom had been paid to ensure the workers' release, Liu Jianchao, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said  in Beijing: "I'm sorry. I can't give any details on the specific process."

    Handed over

    Emeke Woke, a Rivers state government official, said the Chinese were handed over to their company's lawyers in that state.

    Teleken, based in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, had been contracted to install equipment to upgrade rural telephone service in Nigeria.

    The company is a subsidiary of China Telecom Corp, the country's biggest telephone company.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.