25 March 2016

Nigeria: Two Hostages Freed After Nigeria Oil Ship Attack

Two sailors have been freed a month after they were taken hostage when their ship was attacked off Nigeria, French oil services company Bourbon said on Friday.

"This news comes as a great relief to all Bourbon employees, who share the joy of the families," the group said in a statement, adding that the pair were in good health.

"For obvious reasons of confidentiality, Bourbon shall not make any further comment."

The Nigerian and Russian crew members were abducted on February 23 when the Bourbon Liberty 251, an oil supply vessel, came under attack by unknown assailants.

The 10 other crew members made it back to the port of Onne onboard the ship, unharmed.

Foreign and local employees have in recent years become a target for armed groups who also regularly sabotage the oil infrastructure in Nigeria, Africa's number-one crude producer.

In April 2015 another of Bourbon's ships, the Surfer 1440, was attacked off Nigeria and three crew members taken hostage. They were freed unharmed a month later.

Oil accounts for some 90 percent of OPEC-member Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings.


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