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Pirates kidnap Lithuanian, Ukrainian sailors off Nigeria

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Gunmen have kidnapped two Lithuanian and two Ukrainian sailors off southern Nigeria, in the latest incident in a region described as a piracy hotspot, Lithuania’s government said Tuesday.

“We have received information that it was an armed abduction,” government official Rimantas Vaitkus told AFP in the Baltic state’s capital, Vilnius.

He said 19 sailors were on board the ship, comprising three Ukrainians and 16 Lithuanians, but refused to disclose the name of the vessel.

“We have not received any contact from the abductors so far,” he added.

The government said the ship, flagged in the Comoro Islands, was attacked on Monday evening near Nigeria’s oil hub, Port Harcourt.

Scores of kidnappings for ransom have occurred in the Niger Delta, and most of the hostages have been freed after payment of a ransom.

The Lithuanian government said it had set up a task force to deal with the latest incident.

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