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Six Russian and one Estonian sailors have been set free

November 01, 2012, 12:30 UTC+3

Crew of French towboat Bourbon Liberty 249 was captured by Nigerian pirates on October 15

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MOSCOW, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — The sailors from the French towboat Bourbon Liberty 249 — six Russians and one Estonian — captured by Nigerian pirates on October 15, have been set free.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed this information.

"They feel well and have been provided with the essentials. They will return home shortly," the Ministry said.

On October 15, pirates attacked in the oil-rich area of the Niger Delta the Bourbon Liberty 249 tug, belonging to the French company Bourbon and took hostage the leadership of the crew. After that the pirates took the kidnapped sailors away in an unknown direction. The vessel with the remaining eight crewmembers arrived at Onne port.

The rebel group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is active for many years in the incident area. The group claims that it defends the interests of the population of the country’s oil-producing regions, seeking the redistribution of oil sale revenues in its favour. Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa.

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