France: 10 hostages taken off Cameroon freed

PARIS (AP) -- France's government says seven French citizens and three Africans who were taken hostage from a tugboat off the coast of Cameroon late last month have been freed.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says that he has expressed his "relief" at the release of the oil workers and credited help from Cameroon's president, Paul Biya.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's office says that the "happy ending" involved help from the Nigerian government. The 10 hostages included two Cameroon citizens and one Tunisian.

A Cameroon militia group took the oil workers hostage on Oct. 31 off the West African nation's coast, and threatened to kill the captives if demands for autonomy talks with the government were not met.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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