Captive Red Cross hostages released in Ethiopia

September 23, 2006 21:33

A rebel group released two international Red Cross workers Saturday, five days after abducting them in a remote part of eastern Ethiopia. The United Western Somali Liberation Front said it mistook the men for oil workers exploring in the Ogaden region, which is largely inhabited by ethnic Somalis. Somalia lost control of the region to Ethiopia in 1977, but the rebels say it belongs to them. "The abductors contacted us today and released the men unharmed and without conditions," said Patrick Megevand, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ethiopia. The men were kidnapped Monday near Gode, 1,100 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa. The rebels have warned companies against exploring for oil or other resources in the region without consent.

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