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John Key: New Zealand Won’t Pay Ransom for Kiwi Kidnapped by Gunmen in Nigeria

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 06:  New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announces his new Ministry at Beehive Theatrette on October 6, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. John Key became the 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand after defeating Labour opposition leader David Cunliffe in last months New Zealand general election.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
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New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, on Thursday ruled out paying a ransom as a long-held government standing for a New Zealander abducted on Wednesday by gunmen in southern Nigeria.

He said at a press conference in Wellington that there was no chance of the government paying a ransom for the release of New Zealander being held hostage in Nigeria.

Key said the compromise would only put a bounty on the head of any New Zealander working in a volatile region and make the situation worse.

Gunmen took at least three foreign contractors, including one New Zealander and two Australians working for an Australian mining company early Wednesday morning and killed their driver on the outskirts of Calabar.

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Key said it’s likely the kidnapping was random motivated rather than an act of a terrorist organisation.

“The kidnappers are yet to contact police or make any request.

Meanwhile, The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said the Australian High Commissioner in Nigeria is at the scene while New Zealand has no diplomatic mission in the country limiting its capacity to coordinate the rescue.

He said the Australian mining company MacMahon, has been working with Nigerian government to resolve the situation as New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs was receiving updates on the situation.


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