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France Says Cameroon Hostages in Good Health

The French foreign ministry said 10 oil workers kidnapped last week off the coast of Cameroon are safe, contrary to earlier reports.

Speaking to journalists Friday, French foreign ministry deputy spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said all indications are that the hostages are in satisfactory condition. He said recent reports suggesting that one of the hostages had been killed during a failed rescue attempt by Nigerian marines are "unfounded."

The spokesman did not say how the French government knew about the hostage's health.

Two militant groups, the Niger Delta Defense and Security Council and the Bakassi Freedom Fighters, seized the workers from a oil-industry boat on Friday. October 31. The militants said they oppose the recent hand-over of the Bakassi peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon.

The Nigerian government handed over the oil-rich territory in August, in line with an international court ruling.

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