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Swiss shipper in touch with pirates who took 12 crew hostage

BERLIN (AP) — A Swiss shipping company says it is in contact with pirates who have been holding hostage 12 crew members of a bulk carrier following a weekend attack off Nigeria’s coast.

Massoel Shipping says “it is understood” that the MV Glarus crew members are together, well and unharmed.

The Geneva-based company said the ship, carrying wheat, was attacked Saturday as it sailed from Lagos to Port Harcourt. The attackers apparently boarded using long ladders and cut razor wire on the deck to reach the bridge.

Seven crew members were not taken hostage and remain on the ship in Port Harcourt after the captors fled with the 12 others.

A Massoel statement Tuesday says “the first and absolute priority” is the hostages’ safe release. It declined further comment for safety reasons.

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