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24

Six Hostages Released in Nigeria

Six hostages in Nigeria, five Chinese and one Italian, were released early on Thursday

Six hostages in Nigeria, five Chinese and one Italian, were released early on Thursday by two different groups in the oil-producing Niger Delta.

The five Chinese telecom workers were handed over by their captors to embassy officials at a waterfront in Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt. The Italian was released to a state government official in neighboring Bayelsa state.

Three foreign captives now remain in the hands of militants in the mangrove-lined creeks of the delta in southern Nigeria, where rising violence has cut output from the world's eighth largest oil exporter.

"The Chinese hostages were transferred peacefully to embassy officials at a waterfront in Port Harcourt," Rivers State Police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu told Reuters by telephone. They were on their way to the Nigerian capital Abuja, he said.

Ogbaudu said he did not have details of the deal that led to their release.