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Oil workers kidnapped in Colombia

Assailants have kidnapped at least 23 local oil contractors working for Canada's Talisman Energy in a remote part of Colombia's south-eastern jungle, officials said.

The Colombian workers were abducted from an oil camp in the municipality of Cumaribo, about 300 miles east of the capital, Bogota, Vichada state Governor Juan Carlos Avila said. The area is accessible only by helicopter.

"Three unknown subjects entered the camp and forced the 23 people there to go with them, to an unknown destination," Gov Avila said.

He said the abductors could have been Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas, who are present in the area.

A brief statement released by Colombia's army said that "it appeared" the FARC was behind the kidnapping, adding that troops had deployed to the area to search for the oil workers.

Talisman acquired a 49% stake in the BP concession in Colombia last year, with Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol holding the remaining 51%.

Neither Talisman nor Ecopetrol immediately commented on the situation.

Colombia oil workers kidnapped

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