"We confirm that two Russians were kidnapped from the Water Phoenix vessel on September 8, 30 kilometers [18.6 miles] away from the city of Lagos in Nigeria, as a result of an attack by pirates," the Russian Embassy in Nigeria said in a statement.
The embassy added they are making effort, in cooperation with Nigeria's law enforcement agencies, to establish the whereabouts of the hostages and to release them.
The Nigerian Tribune newspaper earlier reported, citing maritime security firm Praesidium International, that pirates had attacked a cargo ship in Nigeria on Tuesday, kidnapping the captain and a crew member, both Russians. It is reported that a total of 18 people were on board — seven Russians and 11 Filipinos.
This is not the first time a similar incident has occured in West Africa. In July, pirates attacked a petrochemical tanker in the Gulf of Guinea and took 13 Russian and Ukrainian crew members hostage.
Two months earlier, three Russian citizens were kidnapped from ships in Equatorial Guinea.