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India confirms kidnapping of 18 sailors off Nigerian coast

Christian Fernsby |
India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed the kidnapping of 18 Indian sailors onboard a Hong Kong-flagged ship that was taken over by pirates off the Nigeria coast.

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MEA sources said that they were in touch with the Nigerian authorities and security agencies to know the whereabouts of the kidnapped Indians.

The ship MT Nave Constellation off Bonny, Nigeria, is said to be in the custody of some unidentified pirates.

"Our mission in Nigeria has taken up the matter with Nigerian authorities. We shall update you as we get further information," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a short statement.

"Our mission in Nigeria has taken up the matter related to the kidnapping of Indian crew members of the ship MT Nave Constellation off Bonny, Nigeria, with the Nigerian government and security agencies," another official at the ministry told Xinhua.

Earlier, a section of the Indian media had quoted ARX Maritime, a global agency tracking maritime developments in the region, as saying that 18 Indians and one Turkey national onboard a Hong Kong-flagged vessel were kidnapped by pirates near the Nigerian coast on Tuesday evening.

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