Italian hostage freed in Nigeria's oil-rich delta

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 9:06 AM
Italian hostage freed in Nigeria's oil-rich delta

An official says an Italian held captive in Nigeria's oil-rich delta has been freed.

A spokesman for the Italian embassy in Abuja said Thursday that the construction worker was kidnapped Dec. 9 and freed a day later in Bayelsa state.

He says Nigerian authorities intervened promptly to secure his release.

He said no ransom was paid, but that "negotiations" led to the release. He declined to comment on their content or to give his name.

In 2006, militants who said the region was not getting its fair share of its oil wealth started kidnapping foreign oil workers and other attacks aimed at crippling the oil industry. That violence waned in 2009 with a government-sponsored amnesty program. However, Nigerians and expatriates in the area still live in fear of kidnappings.