Captive Oil Workers are Freed

Ten oil workers of Royal/Dutch Shell held hostage on a boat in Nigeria for nearly a week have been freed unharmed by their captors, reports a Shell official.

He said the 10, one American, a filipino, four Ghanaians and four Nigerians, had been released following the intervention of officials of the regional government in the Niger Delta and the Navy. No violence was used he added.

"The vessel and the crew were released around 4:00 p.m. (1500 GMT)," said Shell official. "We are very pleased they were released through the government's intervention."

Approximately 40 militants in eight boats seized the vessel, which services a rig in Shell's EA drilling project approximately 20 nautical miles off Warri. The militants had taken the boat and the 10 crew to the nearby Dodo river where they had been held captive since Monday.