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Hostages Released in Nigeria; Standoff at Pumping Station Continues


Nigerian officials say two foreign oil workers have been freed after five days of captivity in the country's oil-rich Niger Delta.

Local officials said Tuesday the workers, an American and a Briton, are in good health.

The men were abducted Thursday from a Norwegian ship off the coast of Bayelsa state.

In the same region, armed protesters continue to occupy an oil flowstation owned by the Italian company Agip. Company officials say the closure has reduced their daily oil production by 55,000 barrels.

Agip officials say they are negotiating with the protesters, who seized about 48 people at the flowstation.

The Niger Delta has been plagued by violence and kidnappings this year, as militant groups press for an increased share of the region's oil wealth.

The violence in the region has cut Nigerian oil production by up to 25 percent at times, helping to raise world oil prices.