Lithuanian skipper kidnapped off Cameroon freed: employer

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A Lithuanian skipper kidnapped by pirates off Cameroon in May has been freed, his employer said Sunday.

"I can confirm he is free. He is unharmed and we hope in a few days to meet him at home", Vytautas Lygnugaris, director general of the Limarko shipping company, told AFP.

Captain Dmitrij Baskirov was abducted on May 16 when unidentified attackers using a motor boat carried out a night-time assault on a Lithuanian refrigerator ship off the port of Douala in Cameroon.

Lygnugaris declined to say if a ransom had been paid for Baskirov's freedom, and refused to give details of where and when he had been released.

Two Russian sailors also taken hostage by pirates who attacked a Greek-owned ship off Cameroon the same day have been freed in Nigeria, the Russian sailors' union was quoted as saying Sunday.

Last month, Lithuanian authorities confirmed that they were working hand in hand with Russia and other nations to win the release of all three men.

In 2009, five Lithuanian sailors from another of Limarko's refrigerator ships were held hostage for 11 days after being seized from their ship off Nigeria.

© 2010 AFP

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