Six sailors were kidnapped when pirates attacked a ship with a Russian crew off the coast of Benin in West Africa, Russia’s Maritime and River Transport agency confirmed. A group of seven to nine attackers, armed with firearms and blades boarded the Panama-flagged MSC Mandy on Tuesday night, according to the maritime authority and the Russian embassy in Benin. The pirates pillaged the ship for two hours before leaving and taking six of the sailors on board with them. There were 23 Russians and one Ukrainian among the crew members, according to the Russian maritime authority. The embassy, citing the Benin Navy, says there were 26 people: 20 Russians, four Ukrainians and two Georgians.
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