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Cotonou, Benin: A Norwegian shipping company says that nine crew members have been abducted in the West African nation of Benin after a pirate attack.

The J.J. Ugland Companies said Monday that pirates had boarded the bulk vessel MV Bonita early Saturday while the ship was anchored near Cotonou.

The pirates managed to abduct nine crew members but did not take the Norwegian-flagged ship.

The Norwegian Shipowners' Association identified the kidnapping victims as nationals of the Philippines.

The threat of piracy attacks remains high in the Gulf of Guinea, where the association says there are least 50 attempted attacks each year.

Local authorities said they were investigating whether the hostages were taken to nearby Nigeria.