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Nigerian Militants Release 10 Indian Hostages


Nigerian Militants have released 10 Indian nationals who had been kidnapped earlier this month, as thousands welcomed home a militant leader to the nation's Niger River Delta Region.

Oil company and security officials announced Saturday the 10 hostages - who included oil company workers and their families - were released overnight. The group had been taken captive June 1.

The release was announced as militant leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari arrived home in Port Harcourt where he was greeted by a crowd cheering supporters.

A Nigerian court released Dokubo-Asari on Thursday, citing his declining health. The court also had said his detention was fueling unrest in the oil-rich Delta region.

Dokubo-Asari has said he opposed kidnapping but adds he will continue to advocate on behalf of the people of the Niger Delta, who he says have a right to self-determination.

Dokubo-Asari is the leader of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force and was being held on charges of treason.

Militant groups in the region have staged numerous attacks on oil facilities and kidnappings of foreign oil workers over the past year and a half.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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