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21 May, 2010 12:22

Moscow prepares to negotiate over kidnapped sailors

A pirate attack on a Russian cargo ship that resulted in the kidnapping of two Russian sailors is nearing a resolution, as Moscow and the kidnappers agree to start negotiations on Saturday.

The attack, which took place at a Cameroon port last Sunday, saw some 20 gunmen board the “North Spirit” ship before robbing the crew and kidnapping the ship’s captain and chief engineer. The pirates have since demanded a ransom.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has stated that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger River Delta – a large militant organization in Nigeria – are behind the incident.

The Investigative Committee in Moscow has meanwhile launched a criminal case against the attackers of the North Spirit vessel.

Due to the fact that this crime has been committed against Russian citizens, the perpetrators will be prosecuted in line with Russian law,” stated Vladimir Markin, Spokesman for the Committee.
The criminal case has been launched on accusations of kidnapping and armed robbery. Currently we are working to find out all the details of this incident.”