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Nigerian cops free hostage, kill 3 kidnappers

25 October 2012, 10:04

Lagos - Police say they have freed a hostage and killed three kidnappers during a rescue operation in south-eastern Nigeria.

Anambra state police chief Bala Nasarawa said on Wednesday that police had raided a hideout in the town of Ihiala two days earlier. Kidnappings often occur in this region where criminal gangs thrive, but police rarely manage to rescue captives.

Nasarawa said police acted on a tip-off, but declined to identify the freed captive or provide other details.

Militants and criminal gangs in Nigeria's south and in its oil-rich delta have routinely targeted expatriate workers. But in recent years, kidnappers have increasingly captured middle- and upper-class Nigerians, including actors and journalists.

Local gangs see kidnapping as a good way of receiving ransom payments in a region of high unemployment.



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