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Pirates Abduct 7 Russian Sailors, 1 Ukrainian in Nigeria

WARRI, Nigeria (AP) -- The Russian embassy in Nigeria says seven Russian sailors and a Ukrainian have been kidnapped from a cargo ship in Nigerian waters.

It comes less than three months after three Russians were taken hostage off a ship in Nigerian waters and later freed.

Ship hijackings and crew kidnappings are common off Nigeria's southern Atlantic coast. 

Hostages usually are released unharmed after a ransom is paid or crude from oil tankers is stolen
The Russian Embassy posted messages on social media Wednesday saying Nigerian authorities have been asked to help locate the victims.

 It did not give the day of the kidnapping, saying only that the men were taken off the BBC Caribbean, a cargo vessel flagged in Antigua and Barbuda.

Nigeria's navy and police refused to comment.

Pirates have abducted seven Russian sailors and one Ukrainian in the territorial waters of Nigeria, the Russian embassy has said.

Russian Embassy in Nigeria reported on Wednesday: “The BBC Caribbean ship came under a piratical attack in the territorial waters of Nigeria.”

The Russian embassy said on its Twitter page: “Seven Russian citizens and one Ukrainian citizen have been kidnapped from the ship.”

The Russian embassy has asked the Nigerian authorities for assistance in establishing the whereabouts of the abducted crew.

According to Russia News Agency, TASS, Maritime Herald on Tuesday said the general cargo ship BBC Caribbean was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea 45 nautical miles south-west off Brass, Nigeria.

The incident happened near Pennington Oil Terminal at Nigerian Delta, when the cargo ship was approached by a motor skiff with armed men on board, who opened fire.

The guards on board of the general cargo ship BBC Caribbean returned fire.

On November 27 last year, three Russian sailors were taken hostage when the Saronic Breeze ship was attacked in the territorial waters of Benin.

On December 20 all were freed.

On February 23 last year, the Bourbon Liberty 251 ship belonging to a French company was seized by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.

The attackers eventually fled taking two hostages, one of them Russia’s Ivan Rydny.
He was freed in March 2016 to return to his family in Murmansk.

The news of the hostage taking was also broken in the Twitter handle of Rus to En Fr Es News ‏@Rus_Eng_News, which said: “In Nigeria pirates kidnapped seven Russians and the citizen of Ukraine.”

Ruslan TradVerified account ‏@ruslantrad had: #BREAKING: pirates took hostage 8 sailors from #Russia and #Ukraine in the territorial waters of #Nigeria.”

It added “In connection with the seizure of the Embassy of the Russian Federation requested the authorities of Nigeria’s assistance in locating the stolen.”


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