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4 S. Koreans, abducted in waters off West Africa, have been released: foreign ministry

All News 12:02 August 02, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- Four South Koreans, who were kidnapped near the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, have been freed, following the release of another Korean national in a separate abduction in the same region, the foreign ministry said Monday.

The four were released at 10 p.m. Sunday (Korea time), about two months after they were abducted by an apparent group of pirates. They all remain in good shape, the ministry said.

On June 29, a Korean sailor on another fishing boat was also released, after having been kidnapped near the Gulf of Guinea on May 20.

The kidnappings came as Seoul has been stepping up calls for Korean seafarers to avoid operating in the treacherous waters off West Africa, which accounts for the vast majority of maritime kidnappings worldwide.

Last year, Seoul sent a Coast Guard official to Ghana to better protect its citizens in piracy-ridden waters off West Africa, while the authorities have been intensifying their monitoring of ships to ensure citizens' safety.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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