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French Government Announces Release of Cameroon Hostages


The French Foreign Ministry says 10 oil workers taken hostage off the coast of Cameroon last month have been released.

French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner expressed his gratitude Tuesday in Paris while announcing their release.

The French and African workers were taken off an oil supply vessel on October 31 by militants from a group called Bakassi Freedom Fighters, who have been seeking negotiations with Cameroon's government.

No details on the circumstances of the release were immediately available. The militants have said they oppose the recent transfer of the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon.

Nigeria made the handover in line with an international court ruling.

The Bakassi Freedom Fighters are part of a wider militant group that also kidnaps oil workers and sabotages oil installations in Nigeria's Niger Delta. Governments in Nigeria and Cameroon say the militants are criminals and not political activists.

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

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