Two South Koreans Freed After Nigerian Kidnapping

SEOUL, South Korea – After a harrowing 17 days in captivity, two South Korean nationals have been released unharmed following their abduction by an armed group in southern Nigeria.

The news brought immense relief to their families and the Korean government, who had been working tirelessly to secure their safe return.

The two men, employees of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, were ambushed on December 12th while traveling in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. Tragically, four Nigerian security personnel and two civilian drivers were killed during the attack.

The kidnappers, believed to be militants, whisked the Koreans away, sparking a desperate search and diplomatic efforts involving both Korean and Nigerian authorities.

Details surrounding the release remain unclear, but Seoul’s foreign ministry confirmed on Friday that the hostages were in good health and had spoken with their families. They are currently undergoing medical evaluations and are expected to return to Korea as soon as possible.

On Friday, we secured custody of the two abducted Korean citizens, the Nigerian’s ministry said in a statement.

Niger Delta Area of Nigeria
A map of Nigeria highlighting the Niger Delta region, where the kidnapping took place.

The abduction cast a spotlight on the security challenges faced by foreign workers in Nigeria, particularly in remote areas prone to militant activity and kidnapping for ransom. 

While South Korean companies have a significant presence in the country’s construction and infrastructure sectors, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential risks involved.

The Korean government has expressed its gratitude to the Nigerian authorities for their cooperation in securing the release of the hostages. The incident is also likely to prompt a review of security protocols for Korean nationals working abroad, particularly in high-risk areas.

For the families of the released men, this ordeal has finally come to a happy end. Their safe return is a testament to the combined efforts of diplomatic channels, security forces, and unwavering hope. The scars of this experience will undoubtedly remain, but for now, relief and gratitude take center stage.

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