Nigerian troops free British hostage in oil delta

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LAGOS, Oct 5 (Reuters) Nigerian troops freed a British hostage in Nigeria's oil delta today after he had been held for almost two months, a military spokesman said.

Spokesman Sagir Musa said troops had been sweeping an area close to the southern city of Port Harcourt when they found the hostage and freed him. ''The Briton was freed,'' Musa said.

The hostage, named by security sources as David Ward, was abducted by gunmen on August 10 on his way to work in Port Harcourt, where he was employed as a manager for oil services company Hydrodive.

More than 200 foreign workers have been kidnapped in Nigeria's oil producing Niger Delta since early 2006, when militants demanding more regional autonomy launched a wave of attacks against the industry.

Most have been released after the payment of a ransom, but there are still about five in captivity.

REUTERS SYU SSC1336

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