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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Four South Korean construction workers and a Nigerian colleague who were kidnapped in southern Nigeria have been freed.

The five employees of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. were preparing for the construction of factories when they were abducted by unidentified gunmen Monday in Bayelsa state.

Bayelsa State police chief Kingsley Omire said Saturday that the kidnappers "freely released" their hostages at about 9.30 p.m. Friday. He said no ransom was paid.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday that the release was the result of "persistent persuasion."

Omire said no one was hurt and that the Bayelsa State government had a strict no-ransom police.

Kidnappings for ransom are frequent in Nigeria's oil-rich delta.

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Associated Press writer Yinka Ibukun contributed to this report from Lagos, Nigeria.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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