4 priests kidnapped in Nigeria are free

Four priests kidnapped in Nigeria's Delta State last week have been released.

The Catholic priests were abducted by gunmen as they returned from a meeting in Warri.

WikipediaDelta State is in the south of Nigeria.

They were released on Friday, allegedly after a ransom was paid. SaharaReporters.com said it had been told by an anonymous priest that money had changed hands, though not the N20 million ($55,500) ransom the kidnappers had demanded.

The priests were named as Victor Adigboluja of Ljebu Ode Diocese, Anthony Otegbola of Abeokuta Diocese, Joseph Ediae of Benin Archdiocese, and Emmanuel Obadjere of Warri Diocese.

The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Benin, Fr Mike Oyanoafoh, announced the priest's release, saying: 'To God be the glory.'

Contacted by SaharaReporters, the Delta State police commissioner Muhammad Mustafa, confirmed the release of the priests and said arrests had been made.

Kidnapping and violence are frequent occurrences in Delta State, with the British government warning against travel to the area. Kidnapping in the Delta region is likely to be for criminal or political reasons rather than religious terrorism, prevalent in other parts of the country.

Four British missionaries were abducted from their accommodation a year ago in the state. One of them, optician Ian Squire, died in captivity. They had been operating clinics there for 14 years.

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