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Nigeria warned against trying to rescue hostages

Nigeria warned against trying to rescue hostages

The Philippines has asked Nigeria to abandon attempts to rescue 24 Filipinos kidnapped from a ship off Nigeria, fearing such efforts could further endanger their lives, an official said Friday.
"We want to put our Filipino seafarers out of harm's way so we appealed to the Nigerian government to forego any operation," said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos.
"If there are ways to resolve this peacefully, we want to exhaust them," he added saying the Philippine government was still against paying any ransom.
The 24 Filipinos were seized by gunmen from a Nigerian-flagged, German-owned cargo ship off the coast of the West African state last week.
Conejos said there was still no breakthrough in negotiations with the kidnappers and he was not aware if there had been any demands set for the release of the Filipinos.
He also could not confirm which group had seized the Filipinos.
President Arroyo ordered a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Nigeria in the wake of the kidnapping, the second such hostage crisis involving Filipinos in the region in the past six months. Nigeria is one of the biggest employers of Filipino workers in Africa, with some 3,900 Filipinos employed there at the end of 2006.
The Philippines is one of Asia's biggest exporters of manpower, with an estimated eight million of its citizens working as maids, seafarers, oil rig workers and in other labor-intensive jobs.
Dozens of foreign workers, mainly in the oil industry, have been kidnapped in the Nigerian Delta region over the past year. On Tuesday, an American and a Briton were abducted and a ransom demand of about US$13.8 million is said to have been made.


Updated : 2021-02-26 12:55 GMT+08:00