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3 Dutch hostages freed unharmed in Nigeria

Rev. Al Sharpton (C) greets Chiara de Blasio, the daughter of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R), after speaking to those gathered for a prayer vigil for abducted Nigerian schoolgirls outside the Consulate General of Nigeria in Manhattan, New York May 10, 2014. REUTERS/Gaia Squarci

THE HAGUE: Three Dutch citizens held hostage in Nigeria for nearly a week have been freed unharmed.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands says the two men and a woman were freed Saturday and handed to their country's ambassador. Joanne Doornewaard said Sunday that the Dutch government was not involved in any negotiations to free the hostages, Erhard Leffers, Jandries Groenendijk and Marianne Vos.

The three were abducted May 4 in the oil-rich Niger River Delta region while on their way to inspect a hospital built by Chevron Corp., Bayelsa state police spokesman Alex Akhigbe said last week. They traveled without police escort.

In Nigeria, Bayelsa state police spokesman Alex Akhigbe said the hostages were "rescued" and two people had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping.

 

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