Thursday, 10 June 2010

Nigerian militants demand $1,5 million ransom for Russian sailors

Nigerian militants are demanding a $1.5 million ransom for the release of two Russian sailors abducted from a vessel at a port in Cameroon last month.

The North Spirit vessel with a Russian-Ukrainian crew, flying the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and owned by Greece's Balthellas Chartering S.A., was attacked on May 16 while anchored in Cameroon's largest port of Douala.

"The hostages will not be released until the ship owners pay $1.5 million," the newspaper said, citing a notorious local militant called Perewei.

The attackers, who are from the Niger Delta Emancipation Movement, are holding Russia's Captain Boris Tersintsev and Chief Engineer Officer Igor Shumik hostage in Nigeria.

The newspaper also said the militants forced Tersintsev to get in touch with the ship's owners and tell them how badly they are being treated.

According to the captain, they are being held in a mangrove forest without clean drinking water.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one of the largest militant groups in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, has been linked to attacks on foreign-owned companies in the oil-rich but impoverished region.

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