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Nigeria police confirm release of 6 foreigners abducted by pirates

28-02-2013

YENAGOA, (Xinhua): Six foreigners abducted by pirates off Nigeria's southern coast of Bayelsa State were on Tuesday freed unhurt, local police authorities have said.

Kingsley Omire, commissioner of police in Bayelsa State, said the abductees, including three Ukranians, an Indian and two Russians, regained their freedom with no ransom paid.

According to Omire, the foreigners were found in the city of Port Harcourt, capital of neighboring oil-rich Rivers State, by security officers who were on a mission to free them.

Another police source who declined to be mentioned said the abductees claimed they were freed very late on Monday before the security forces discovered on Tuesday that they had regained their freedom.

"None of them sustained injuries during the abduction and efforts are being made for the kidnap victims to be reunited with their colleagues," the source said.

When news of the abduction broke out on Feb. 20, police had reported that the pirates conditioned more than 1 million U. S. dollars on the release of their captives.

The six foreigners were kidnapped 70 km off the coast of southern Nigeria when pirates attacked an Armada Tuah Vessel operated by Century Group, a company based in southwest Lagos State, spokesperson of the police in Bayelsa State Fidelis Odunna told Xinhua on phone.

The attack was the fourth within 10 days, marking the worsening security situation in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, where piracy and kidnappings have been frequently reported in recent years.

Piracy and armed robbery have been increasing in recent years in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer, with more than 293 cases of sea robbery and pirate attacks recorded since 2003.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/africa/2013-02/27/c_132196676.htm

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