- Niger delta militants have released a Romanian man seized from an offshore oil vessel off Nigeria on Wednesday, an army spokesman said today.
A statement from Delta's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said gunmen from an affiliate group were responsible for the abduction.
"The militants blew up the engine of the tanker with dynamite, and it was massively damaged," Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, spokesman for the military task force in the southern state of Rivers said.
The Romanian foreign ministry confirmed the kidnapping in the Niger Delta and said Bucharest was relieved with the safe release of their man.
There has been a surge in violent attacks on Nigeria's oil industry and kidnappings of both local and foreign oil workers since January 2006. But MEND has rejected claims of more than 200 oil workers having been abducted by the movement, saying some of them were carried out by groups of criminals kidnapping for ransom.
MEND has been fighting in the last three year, claming to be fighting for the fair share of the oil revenues. However efforts to halt attacks in River State have been stalled as the government has failed to meet demands of MEND.
The unrest has reduced the country's oil output by more than one quarter and production currently stands around two million barrels a day against 2.6 million barrels three years ago.
More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta since the region's main militant group, MEND began a campaign of sabotage against the oil industry three years ago.
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