Kidnappers free journalists in Nigeria oil-rich south
Kidnappers who abducted four journalists in Nigeria's oil-rich south a week ago released them on Sunday without a ransom being paid, the head of the reporters' union said.world Updated: Jul 18, 2010 14:14 IST
Kidnappers who abducted four journalists in Nigeria's oil-rich south a week ago released them on Sunday without a ransom being paid, the head of the reporters' union said.
"They put a call through to us saying that they have been released unconditionally," said Nigerian Union of Journalists head Usman Leman.
Police met up with the Nigerian journalists after their release, Leman said, and they were making their way out of a remote area in Abia State.
Kidnappings occur frequently in Nigeria's south, but oil workers have traditionally been the victims.
The abduction of the journalists illustrated a widening of the target profiles in recent months and sparked outrage across Nigeria.
Officials and media rights groups, including global organisation Reporters Without Borders, also called for their immediate release.
The kidnappings were the second involving journalists in the volatile region in 2010.
In March, three M-Net Supersport television crew members, a South African and two Nigerians were seized in Imo state, which neighbours the oil hub of Rivers State. They were freed about a week later.
While many of the kidnappings of oil workers have been claimed by militants who say they are seeking a fairer distribution of oil revenues, other abductions have been carried out to collect cash through ransom payments.