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Capture of one Belarusian by pirates near Nigeria confirmed

MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – A hostage taken by pirates near Nigeria is indeed ethnic Belarusian, however, it is not yet clear whether he has Belarus citizenship. The information was released by Mr Andrei Savinykh, Head of the Information Office, Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, on 25 October.

BelTA has been told that the hostage may be a citizen of Russia. “Regardless of whether it is true or not the Embassy of Belarus in Nigeria has been instructed to provide assistance to resolve the situation,” said Andrei Savinykh. The official explained that the consular affairs department and the Embassy of Belarus in Nigeria continue working together primarily with Russian colleagues and other interested persons as well as Nigerian authorities. “All the necessary things are being done to return the hostage,” said Andrei Savinykh.

The consular service is investigating reports about the capture of a Belarus citizen by pirates. News agencies have reported a pirate assault on the vessel Bourbon Liberty 249 owned by the French company Bourbon in the territorial waters of Nigeria near the town of Brass. The vessel had been dispatched to service sea-based platforms extracting hydrocarbons on the shelf near the southern shore of Nigeria. It has been reported that citizens of Russia, Estonia, and a citizen of Belarus are among those captured.