Sailors kidnapped by Pirates off the Coast of Nigeria freed

Five Russian and Polish nationals kidnapped from a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria by pirates last month have been released.

The ship's German operator confirmed  on Tuesday that all five crew members were released in good health on May 11, that they are have returned to their home countries.

The company did not say if a ransom was paid, but ship owners often hand over large sums to free abducted sailors.

The crew members were kidnapped April 25, when 14 heavily armed pirates forced their way into the cargo ship's citadel, a strong room designed to protect the crew from attack.

Piracy is increasing in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, with gunmen frequently targeting oil ships to steal crude and seize foreign hostages for ransom payments.