Two Russian seamen, including a former member of the Arctic Sea cargo vessel at the center of a hijacking saga last year, have been abducted in Cameroon, a Russian sailors' trade union said on Monday.
The North Spirit vessel, flying the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and owned by Greece's Balthellas Chartering S.A., was attacked by pirates on Sunday while anchored in Cameroon's largest port of Douala.
"At 22:40 local time [21:40 GMT] two boats with about 20 armed men approached the vessel. The armed men ordered the crew to gather on the upper deck and made them lay them face down. Another group of pirates broke into the cabins of the crew members and the captain and took their personal belongings," the union said in a statement.
The attackers took captain Boris Tersintsev and chief engineering officer Igor Shumik hostage and left the ship.
Shumik was among the 15 crew members on the Arctic Sea cargo ship, which disappeared for more than three weeks last summer while carrying a $2 million shipment of timber from Finland to Algeria.
The ship's disappearance, which triggered a major international search effort, raised suspicions that it was carrying a "secret cargo" of drugs or weapons. Russian authorities have denied the rumors, saying the vessel was hijacked by criminals who demanded a ransom.
The Arctic Sea was intercepted by the Russian Navy off West Africa on August 16, 2009. Eight alleged hijackers from Estonia, Latvia and Russia were arrested.
ST. PETERSBURG, May 17 (RIA Novosti)