(Fixes day to Wednesday, not Tuesday, in first paragraph)
YENAGOA, Nigeria Feb 20 Pirates who kidnapped
six foreign sailors from an oil servicing vessel off the
Nigerian coast on Sunday are demanding 200 million naira ($1.3
million) for their release, police said on Wednesday.
One Russian, three Ukrainian and two Indian sailors were
taken when gunmen stormed the Armada Tuah 40 miles (65 km) off
the coast of oil-producing Bayelsa state.
The vessel is owned by Nigerian oil servicing company
Century Group, Bayelsa Police Spokesman Fidelis Odunna said. The
company did not respond to calls for comment.
"One of the kidnappers called to demand the sum of 200
million naira ... efforts are in progress to arrest the
kidnappers," Odunna told Reuters, adding that nine Nigerian crew
members had been left on board by the gunmen.
Piracy off the Nigerian coast and elsewhere in the Gulf of
Guinea is on the rise. There have been at least five attacks in
the waters off Africa's most populous nation this month.
None of the crew were hurt during the kidnapping, the
Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, citing the vessel's
operator as the source of its information.
($1 = 157.4000 Nigerian naira)
(Reporting by Tife Owolabi, additional reporting by Gabriela
Baczynska in Moscow, Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Michael