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Somali Gunmen Release 2 UN Workers, Somali

Officials in Somalia say gunmen have released two United Nations workers and a Somali they kidnapped earlier Saturday.

Islamist insurgents captured three men during an attack on the southern Somali town of Hudur. U.N. and local officials say local elders negotiated their release. They say no ransom was paid.

The two United Nations workers, one from Sweden and one from Denmark, work for a U.N. mine-clearing service. The Somali man is said to be an aid worker.

Residents of Hudur say one person was killed and at least one other wounded in fighting between the insurgents and government forces.

Kidnappings have been on the rise in Somalia, which has not had a stable central government in 17 years.

Earlier this week, pirates seized four foreign tourists in the Puntland region, while gunmen south of Mogadishu seized the head of local operations for the U.N. refugee agency.

Hostages in Somalia are generally released alive in exchange for large ransoms.

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