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Russian Sailors Freed From Nigerian Pirates

Six Russian sailors and one Estonian who were being held hostage by Nigerian pirates were freed Thursday and are expected to fly home soon, the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that the sailors, who were captured on Oct. 15 in a ship that serviced oil platforms off the southern coast of Nigeria, were in good health and being treated well.

In the statement, the ministry expressed gratitude to the authorities of four countries that assisted in an operation to free the sailors.

"Russia is grateful to its Nigerian, French, Luxembourgian and Estonian partners for their close cooperation and effective, coordinated actions, which allowed for a swift and safe rescue of the hostages," the statement said.

The Bourbon Liberty 249, owned by French oil services company Bourbon, was attacked by pirates on Oct. 15 in Nigerian territorial waters near the town of Brass.

The pirates took seven sailors hostage — the six Russians and one Estonian — while nine others managed to escape, RIA-Novosti reported.

Bourbon said no details regarding the rescue operation would be revealed, citing confidentiality and safety concerns, Interfax reported.

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