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AAP News (Australia): Released Australian’s kidnapping was horrific, dad says

Published: Jul 12, 2007

BRISBANE, July 12 AAP – Kidnapped Australian oil worker Jason Lane has been released alive but sick after a “horrific” ordeal at the hands of militant rebels in the Niger Delta. The Queenslander was released overnight along with his four co-workers, a week after they were kidnapped from an Anglo-Dutch Shell oil rig.

His father Brian Lane says his son told him in a phone conversation shortly after his release he had contracted malaria during the ordeal. “He’s a little bit worse for the wear, he said it wasn’t a picnic, he said it was the most horrific thing he’d ever been through,” he told ABC radio. Though the phone call was brief, Mr Lane says it was a welcome relief to speak to his son after a week spent on tenterhooks. “What did I say? I said ‘Thank Christ for that! Hope you’re all right’. He just went through a few formalities, not very much, of what had happened. “It was only about three or four minutes of speaking but it was a good three or four minutes.”

Mr Lane and his co-workers, employees of Lone Star Drilling Company, were abducted by gunmen as they were working on the Shell oil exploration platform last Wednesday.

Militants have kidnapped about 200 foreigners, mostly oil workers, in the region since the beginning of 2006. A ransom is generally demanded for their release but it is unclear if any money was paid in exchange for the release of the five. The men declined to speak to journalists in Nigeria but they have reportedly told the Bayelsa State governor Timipre Sylva in a brief meeting that they were going back to their countries immediately. AAP ews/jt/mn
 

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