5 crew kidnapped from ship off Nigeria released

BERLIN (AP) - A German ship operator says five crew members kidnapped from one of its ships off the coast of Nigeria last month have been released.

The five Polish and Russian citizens were seized April 26 from the container ship City of Xiamen. The shipping company Sunship Schiffartskontor KG said they were released Saturday and are in good health.

The company said in a statement the five have already returned to their home countries.

The shipping company didn't detail the circumstances of their release _ including whether a ransom was paid _ or the identity of their captors "for reasons of confidentiality."

The Gulf of Guinea, on Africa's western Atlantic Ocean coast, has seen an escalation recently in violent pirate attacks.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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