Kidnapped Lebanese released in Delta State

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A Lebanese national kidnapped by gunmen more than two weeks ago in Benin City, capital of Edo state in southern Nigeria was released on Thursday, a police spokesman said.

“He was released this morning in (neighbouring) Delta state. He was later brought to us in Benin City. He is in good state of health and he has been handed over to his family,” Moses Eguavoen said.

He did not say if any ransom had been paid before his release or if any arrests were made.

Assailants kidnapped the employee with Lebanese-owned Setraco Nigeria Limited construction company on July 8, said Eguavoen, spokesman for the state police command.

A Setraco spokesman earlier identified the victim as Sani Youssef.

Ransom kidnappings occur regularly in southern Nigeria, with victims usually released unharmed after payments are made, unlike in the country’s north, where Islamist extremists have killed a number of their hostages.

In February, two Lebanese were abducted along with two Syrians, a Greek, an Italian and a Briton from another Setraco site in the northern Nigerian state of Bauchi.

Islamist extremist group Ansaru, an offshoot of Boko Haram, later posted a video and a statement online announcing the hostages had been killed.

A British citizen who was kidnapped on July 16 by gunmen shortly after landing at the international airport in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos was released on Sunday, a spokesman at Britain’s Deputy High Commission in Lagos, said.



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