Kidnapped Lebanese manager released in Nigeria

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2013 12:47 PM
Kidnapped Lebanese manager released in Nigeria

ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Kidnappers released a Lebanese construction company manager on Thursday, two weeks after he was abducted from the firm's premises by armed men in southern Nigeria, the military said.

Gunmen fired on the premises of Nigerian-owned but Lebanese-run construction firm Setraco in Benin city on July 8, killing two soldiers, wounding a third and seizing the hostage.

"(He) has been released today by his abductors," military spokeswoman Captain Roseline Managbe said. "We are not aware if any ransom was paid."

The company was not immediately available for comment.

Kidnapping is rife in Nigeria, especially in the oil-producing south and the main city of Lagos in the southwest, making it one of the worst countries in the world for it.

Criminal gangs make many millions of dollars a year from ransoms.

Kidnappings by Islamists in the majority Muslim north are much rarer. The Islamist militant group Ansaru seized seven foreign Setraco construction workers in February in a remote part of northern Bauchi state, and said it killed them all.

(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Joe Brock and Alison Williams)