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Three Russians Among Crew Taken Hostage By Pirates Off West Africa

Three Russians were among five crew members taken hostage from a cargo ship by pirates off the coast of Cameroon, Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

On August 16, MC-Schiffahrt, a German shipping company, said pirates attacked the MarMalaita late on August 14 while it was anchored off Douala, Cameroon.

The Hamburg-based MC-Schiffahrt said it has put together an emergency response team and is working with "all relevant authorities" to attain the freedom of its crew.

The Russian ministry said the country’s diplomats are working with authorities from Cameroon and the ship’s owners to "facilitate the prompt release of the Russian citizens."

The nationalities of the other crew members were not disclosed.

Kidnappings by pirates seeking ransom money are common in the waters off the West Africa coast.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP