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Missionaries released

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Four Nigerian LDS missionaries who had been held captive in their native country since Saturday have been released, according to LDS church spokesman Scott Trotter. The four men are apparently unharmed, he said, noting additional details will be given at a press conference scheduled at 4:30 p.m.

Church officials are expected to provide further details on the developments in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the city that is home to one of five LDS missions in the West African nation.

Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City have been monitoring the situation closely and supporting the work of local LDS leaders in Nigeria, who have been working to secure the missionaries' release.

The four young men, all Nigerian nationals in their early 20s, were taken Saturday morning from their apartment near Port Harcourt. In a statement released earlier Wednesday, the church said a local bishop in the Port Harcourt area was "able to speak with each of the missionaries by phone this morning and has confirmed that they are well.

"We continue to be optimistic about the outcome," said Bruce Olsen, managing director of public affairs for the church, in the earlier statement.