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West African Pirates Threaten to Kill Kidnapped Oil Workers


Militants who kidnapped 10 oil workers off the coast of Cameroon have threatened to kill the workers unless the government meets the militants' demands.

Spokesmen for the militants say the 10 workers are fine, but warned that they will be killed "one by one, within three days, if the government does not agree to talks on greater autonomy for Cameroon's Bakassi peninsula.

The militants issued the warning in phone calls to journalists after the kidnapping in the oil-rich waters off Bakassi Friday. Armed men kidnapped six French and four African oil workers from a vessel, the Bourbon Sagittta, at an offshore oil terminal.

The two militant groups involved are the Bakassi Freedom Fighters and the Niger Delta Defense and Security Council.

They say they are opposed to Bakassi's transfer from Nigeria to Cameroon, which was completed in August.

The two groups were linked in attacks in Bakassi in June and July that killed a Cameroonian government official and several soldiers.

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

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