Shipping company says 3 sailors kidnapped in attack on cargo ship off Nigeria have been freed

A shipping company says that three sailors — including two Russians — kidnapped in an attack off the coasts of Nigeria and Cameroon have been freed after weeks in captivity.

Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. of the United Kingdom said in a statement Monday that the men had been released, but declined to say whether a ransom had been paid.

The company said pirates boarded the MV Esther C during the night of Feb. 7. The company said the pirates stole the sailors' personal belongings before leaving with the three sailors.

Russia's Foreign Ministry later said that two of the sailors were Russian.

The Gulf of Guinea has grown increasingly dangerous for shippers, as criminal gangs and militants from Nigeria often kidnap foreign workers and steal fuel from ships in the region.