Kidnapped Russians escape rebel captivity

Nairobi/Abuja  - Two Russian men kidnapped in December by rebels in the Niger Delta have escaped from captivity and have been rescued by the army, a Nigerian military spokesman said on Friday.

The two, who are employees of a Russian aluminium company, were taken by members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on December

Lt. Col. Sagir Musa told the BBC that the two men "escaped from a yet-to-be-identified military camp and for the past five days were wandering in the creeks before our own patrol team saw and rescued them."

MEND, a loose umbrella organisation of rebel groups, in recent years have conducted a campaign to force the Nigerian government to share the wealth generated by the Delta region's rich oil deposits, and have kidnapped many foreigners.

At one point, in 2006, Nigerian officials estimated that the attacks were costing Nigeria in the neighborhood of 800,000 barrels of oil a day. (dpa)