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Kidnapped Indian oil worker free in Sudan

One of the four Indian oil workers kidnapped in Sudan last month is found but it is unclear if he escaped or is freed, says India's ambassador.
Reuters | By Andrew Heavens, Khartoum
UPDATED ON JUN 04, 2008 08:39 PM IST

One of the four Indian oil workers kidnapped in Sudan last month was found on Wednesday but it was unclear if he escaped or was freed, India's ambassador said.

The man in his 30s was found at the side of a road and taken back to his base in the oil-rich Kordofan region, bordering Darfur, ambassador Deepak Vohra told Reuters.

"He is apparently in very good health," said Vohra. "We are hoping to hear from the other three soon. There are searches going on."

"We still don't know how he managed to get away -- whether he was released, or escaped or whether there was some sort of security operation .... We are told that all of them are in very good health," he said.

The one worker managed to reach a road in Kordofan and flagged down a passing security vehicle at 7.30 am local time (0430 GMT), said Vohra. The man was taken back to his base in the huge Heglig oil field where he received a medical check-up, the ambassador added.

The ambassador said he had not been able to speak directly to the man who was resting after his ordeal but had received updates from his employer.

At the time of the abduction in mid May, a diplomatic source said the four were kidnapped between the Neem and Heglig oil fields in South Kordofan. The captors were thought to be disaffected locals.

Vohra said the four were employed by Petro Energy Contracting Services, doing work for the Greater Nile Petroleum Operation Company, a consortium led by China's CNPC, India's ONGC, Malaysia's Petronas and Sudan's state-owned Sudapet.

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