Pirates attack Russian-owned ship off Nigeria: firm

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Pirates on Monday attacked a Russian-owned oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria but left the vessel without causing significant damage, the company said.

The pirates attacked the NS Spirit, owned by the Russian Novoship company, at 1:49 am Moscow time (2149 GMT Sunday), as it was on approach to the port of Lagos, some 30 nautical miles from the shore.

"Ten armed men got on to the vessel, clearly with the aim of robbery and opened fire from automatic weapons. The crew took cover," said Novoship, which is part of Russia's state-controlled Sovcomflot shipping company.

It did not say what had prompted the pirates to leave the ship but added that no further attacks were recorded.

One member of the crew was wounded. "The ship and its cargo were not damaged," it added. The Liberian-flagged tanker has a crew of 22 Russian sailors.

© 2010 AFP

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