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Nigerian navy rescues some oil rig hostage: report

Xinhuanet 2003-05-02 00:42:42

””””LAGOS, May 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The Nigerian navy has rescues some oilworkers held hostage at the US-owned Chevron/Texaco in Nigeria's southern state of Delta, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Thursday.

””””According to the report, the navy has arrested 17 Ijaw armed youths who allegedly held hostage and released the workers who were employees of the oil platforms namely, North-Agoi, Pennington4 and Funiwa, all working for Chevron/Texaco.

””””Striking workers held 97 British, US and European hostages on four drilling rigs operating in oilfields offshore Nigeria's southern state of Delta. However the exact number of hostages rescued is not available yet.

””””A naval official was quoted as saying that one of their old warships was used for the rescue, which involved a journey of seven hours from their base in oil-rich Warri to the hostage rigs.

””””They said the rescue was easier than expected because the youths were not armed.

””””One of the freed workers who pleaded anonymity told reporters that the youths were demanding certain payment from the firms.

””””The official said initially, both captors and captives were eating the food provided by the youths until it was exhausted, before the arrival of the naval rescue team.

””””This believed to be the first hostage-taking case reported in the Nigerian oil sector this year after the rampant cases recordedin the past two years.

””””Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa or the world's sixth largest oil exporter, with an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota of more than two million barrels per day. Enditem

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