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Nigerian Navy Foils Attacks on Two Oil Tankers, Frees 21 Crew

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The Nigerian navy foiled two pirate attacks on oil tankers on Wednesday in the country’s Atlantic waters and freed 21 crew members, the military said.

Troops intercepted a vessel, the MT Gaz Providence, seized by pirates a day earlier near Bonny Island, rescuing 21 crew members, Suleman Dahun, the navy’s spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. They also stopped gunmen from boarding another tanker, the MT Rio Spirit, which had picked up cargo from the Qua Iboe Terminal run by Exxon Mobil Corp.’s local unit.

Nigeria’s Atlantic waters have been identified by the International Maritime Bureau as one of the major hot spots of piracy where vessels should stay at least 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Seven Russian nationals and one Ukranian were seized in Nigerian waters when pirates attacked their vessel, the BBC Caribbean, the Russian embassy in Abuja said in a tweet on Tuesday.