Gunmen free Dutch hostages

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By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa

The three Dutch nationals who were kidnapped by unknown gunmen at Letugbene in Ekeremor local government area of Bayelsa State have been released.

The Dutch nationals; Erhard Leffers, Marianne Hendricks-Vos and Yandries Groenenedijk, were kidnapped alongside two Holland-based Nigerias; Sunny Ofehe and Femi Soewu, a week ago.

They were reportedly on a facts-finding mission to the Dodo River communities and had visited Amatu cottage hospital built by Chevron and were returning to Warri in Delta State when they were seized by some armed men.

Though details about their release were hazy, it was learnt that they were released at Ekeni community in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State.

It could also not be ascertained if any ransom was paid before they were set free but a security source said they were being escorted to Yenagoa as at press time.

“They were released around 7.50pm in Ekeni community and I don’t know if any ransom was paid but they are on their way to Yenagoa,” the source said.

The Bayelsa state Commissioner of Police, Hillary Opara, confirmed the release of the hostages.

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