Russian sailors seized in Nigeria not hurt

Oct. 19, 2012 at 1:53 PM

LAGOS, Nigeria, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Russian officials are trying to locate seven sailors taken hostage by Nigerian pirates before plotting rescue plans but believe they are unharmed.

The sailors -- six Russians and one Estonian -- were taken hostage Monday when pirates attacked their tug boat in the Niger Delta, ITAR-Tass reported. Eight other crew members of the tug boat went free and arrived at Onne port.

"The sailors who returned confirmed that at the time of the attack nobody was hurt. There is no more news. The whereabouts of the kidnapped Russians and an Estonian citizen are unknown," Russian charge d'affaires in Nigeria Valery Shaposhnikov said Friday.

"The kidnappers have not identified themselves in any way. In essence, we are at the stage of gathering information," he said, adding that no one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping or demanded a ransom.

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