Americans kidnapped by pirates freed

2011-12-02 14:04
Lagos  - Two Americans kidnapped off Nigeria when gunmen attacked a ship working with oil giant Chevron have been released, the US embassy said on Friday, but it was unclear whether a ransom had been paid.

"I can confirm two Americans were released last night," US embassy spokesperson Deborah MacLean said, adding she had no further details on their release.

The fate of a third person kidnapped in the incident on November 17, believed to be a Mexican citizen, remained unclear.

Eight armed pirates had boarded the ship and attacked the crew, taking the three victims hostage, Chevron had said at the time. The ship, the MV C-Endeavour, belonged to US firm Chouest.

A 2009 amnesty deal led to a sharp decline in attacks in the country's oil-producing Niger Delta region, but sporadic incidents continue to occur.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer.

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