Published July 12, 2013
ZIGUINCHOR, Senegal – An official in southern Senegal says rebels have freed nine employees of a South African bomb disposal company who were taken hostage in May.
Cheikh Tidiane Dieng, governor of the Ziguinchor region, says the employees were released Friday afternoon at a location along the border between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. He says they will be transferred to Senegal in a ceremony Saturday.
Dieng said he did not know if a ransom was paid.
The nine were part of a group of 12 people working to clear mines for the company Denel Mechem who were kidnapped on May 3 by the MFDC rebel group. The rebels have been waging a low-level insurgency in the southern Casamance region for more than a decade.
Three women among the group were released in late May.