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Goff Says Kidnapped NZer Is Probably Unharmed

Hopes are high that a New Zealander and four other hostages kidnapped in Ecuador are unhurt, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Phil Goff said this afternoon.

No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but Mr Goff says the Ecuadorian Government believes the likely culprits are Colombian Farc rebels.

MR Goff said he believed Farc will demand a ransom for the return of the hostages soon.

The Ecuador Government has set up a crisis committee to deal with the kidnapping, Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff said the kidnapping had the hallmarks of a professional operation, which supports the belief Farc is responsible and that the hostages are probably unhurt.

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