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Six Russians, Estonian kidnapped off Nigeria freed

By AFP

LAGOS (AFP) - Six Russians and an Estonian kidnapped from a ship off Nigeria on October 15 have been released, French oil industry servicing company Bourbon said on Thursday.

Bourbon said the seven who were snatched from the Bourbon Liberty 249, an anchor handling vessel of the kind used to tow anchors for oil rigs or mobile drilling rigs, were freed on Thursday and appeared to be in good health despite "difficult conditions while in captivity".

They were undergoing medical checks in Nigeria and would return to their home countries within the next few days, the company said in a statement.

No details of the circumstances of the release would be given, Bourbon said, adding however that it wished to thank Nigerian authorities including the police and special security services.

Scores of kidnappings for ransom have occurred in the Niger Delta, though a 2009 amnesty deal greatly reduced unrest there. Sporadic incidents continue to occur despite the amnesty.

Most of the hostages have been freed after payment of a ransom.