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Five Greek sailors held hostage after hijacking in Nigeria

By
Don Jacobson
A view of the port of Lagos, Nigeria, on September 10. Five crew members of a Greek vessel were kidnapped last week by a group of pirates off the coast of Nigeria. The vessel was on its way to Lagos. File photo by Akintunde Akinleye/EPA-EFE
A view of the port of Lagos, Nigeria, on September 10. Five crew members of a Greek vessel were kidnapped last week by a group of pirates off the coast of Nigeria. The vessel was on its way to Lagos. File photo by Akintunde Akinleye/EPA-EFE

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Five Greek sailors are being held hostage by pirates after their supply ship was hijacked off the coast of Nigeria, officials in Athens said.

The supply tanker Stelios K was sailing under the Togolese flag late last week when it was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, the Greek Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy announced over the weekend.

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The crew of the ship, which was bound for Lagos, are in good health, authorities said.

Officials said the sailors' relatives have been told by the ship's owners that they are in talks with the pirates and that the crew will be freed in a matter of days.

The Panhellenic Union of Merchant Marine Sailors, however, complained in a statement issued Saturday that that the relatives of the abductees had not yet managed to contact the hostages on their own.

The union said the Greek ministry didn't reveal the details of the incident to family members under several days after it had happened.

"Meanwhile, despite the fact that several days have passed since the attack on the ship and the violent abduction of the crew members, the competent services are still silent and the anxiety of the seafarers' relatives has reached its peak," the union said.

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