16:34 GMT07 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Pirates attacked a petrochemical tanker in the Gulf of Guinea Saturday and took 13 Russian and Ukrainian crew members, hostage, Maritime Bulletin reported citing ship owners.

    The Liberia-flagged Curacao Trader was approximately 210 nautical miles from Benin when it was attacked at 11:00 GMT, ship management company Alison Management Corporation said in a statement shared by Maritime Bulletin.

    "[The] vessel was attacked by pirates approx. 210 miles off the coast of Benin at 1100 hrs local time on 17th July. 13 out of its 19 Ukranian and Russian crew members have been taken hostage by the pirates," the company said in a statement.

    Allison Management added that the ship was adrift with limited manpower following the attack. Nearby ships are on their way in an attempt to provide assistance, the company said.

    The ship was sailing from the Togolese capital of Lome, Maritime Bulletin reported.

    Head of the Crisis Management Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Maxim Kovalenko confirmed that four Ukrainian nationals were taken hostage.

    At the same time, the Russian embassy in Nigeria stated on Saturday that it was looking into the reported abduction of a mixed Russian-Ukrainian crew from a tanker off the Nigerian coast.

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