JOHANNESBURG – Officials say pirates in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea have kidnapped three sailors, including two from Russia.
A statement Friday from Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. of the United Kingdom said pirates boarded the MV Esther C late Thursday night. The company said the pirates stole the sailors' personal belongings before leaving with the three sailors.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday that two of the sailors were Russian. Carisbrooke Shipping said the remaining crew on board had sailed the ship away from the sight of the attack, which is in international waters off the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.
The Gulf of Guinea has grown increasingly dangerous for shippers in recent years, as criminal gangs and militants from Nigeria often kidnap foreign workers and steal fuel from ships in the region.