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French deny paying ransom to free oil workers

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French deny paying ransom to free oil workers


There was no rescue operation and no ransom was paid. That is the official version of events after a group of mostly French oil workers, seized by gunmen off Cameroon last month, was freed.

The African country’s President Paul Biya was among the first to receive the ten newly-released hostages. All are said to be in good health.

Their ordeal began on October 31, while working on board an oil supply vessel contracted by French oil giant Total. The crew was captured by militia opposed to this year’s transfer of the Bakassi peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon.

A diplomatic source in France said discussions between the rebels and authorities in Cameroon led to the liberation of the captives – seven French nationals, a Tunisian and two Cameroonians.

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