Brazil’s Vale says Indians free 6 hostage workers

RIO DE JANEIRO Feb 10 (Reuters) – Six employees of Brazilian mining giant Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote) were freed on Thursday after being held hostage by indigenous Indians in northern Brazil for more than a day, the company said on Thursday.

Vale said the workers had been taken captive by protesters who blocked one of the company’s principal rail lines, adding that as of Wednesday evening the company had restored transit along the rail line, which serves the huge Carajas iron mine.

The firm said the protest took place in the state of Maranhao in an area around 350 kilometers (220 miles) from the port city of Sao Luis.

Vale said none of the complaints that sparked the protest were related to the company itself.

Protesters from the same indigenous group blocked the rail line for 10 hours in February 2010.

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