Russian sailors kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria
MOSCOW, October 18 - RAPSI. Six Russian sailors have been kidnapped by pirates off the coast southern Nigeria, the Bourbon shipping company reported on its website on Wednesday.
The kidnapping occurred on Monday, although news of the incident appeared no earlier than Wednesday.
Pirates attacked the company's Bourbon Liberty 249 towing ship in the vicinity of Brass. The ship serves offshore platforms operating on the shelf. The six sailors and an Estonian national were kidnapped. Nine other sailors, whose nationalities have not been reported, managed to escape. The ship is now heading for the Nigerian port of Onne. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta is active in the area. Its fighters have a history of attacking Nigerian oil facilities and abducting foreigners working there for ransom. Pirates also rob civilian ships and kidnap people off the shores of Nigeria and Cameroon.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is doing everything in its power to free the sailors as soon as possible, the ministry's Information Department reported on Wednesday.
The ship owner told the Russian Embassy in Nigeria that no crew members were injured in the incident.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry is also engaged in the situation.
Pirates have not made life easy for Russian sailors, who-by RIA Novosti's count-have been targeted in at least 22 such attacks in the past four years.