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Kiwi among hurt after Nigerian kidnapping

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/06/2016

A New Zealander is among the mine workers being treated for injuries after surviving a kidnapping in Nigeria.

Their Australian employer, mining company Macmahon Holdings, is relieved its seven workers - including New Zealander Jamahl Khan - are safe after gunmen shot dead their Nigerian driver Matthew Odok and kidnapped them last Wednesday.

"Our men are at a safe location but unfortunately, five of them were injured during the incident," chief executive Sy van Dyk told reporters in Perth on Monday.

"Three of the men have wounds and two remain in a serious but stable condition. Two of the men have rib injuries.

"They all are receiving specialist medical attention. Our priority now is to ensure that all of them are stabilised and ultimately given the clear to travel."

Prime Minister John Key said for privacy reasons he could only say Mr Khan was hurt but did not have "life-threatening injuries".

Macmahon won't reveal if it paid a ransom to secure the workers' release and both Mr Key and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said they were not part of the deal.

"I don't know what arrangements the company agreed to or didn't agree to," Mr Key said.

Nigerian police have told local media they freed the men.

"The police stormed the location where they were being held and rescued them," police spokeswoman Irene Itohan said, adding all of the kidnappers managed to escape.

The seven workers, who also included a South African and two Nigerians, were snatched on the outskirts of the southern city of Calabar after their driver was slain.

Macmahon Holdings mines material for processing at Lafarge Africa's UniCems cement plant at Mfamosing, in Nigeria's south-east.

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