- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The crew of a French oil tanker that had been hijacked by pirates off the Ivory Coast on Sunday are now free, according to various media reports.

Sea Tankers said Wednesday that the M/T Gascogne has been recovered, and the 17 sailors who were taken hostage are under medical care for injuries received during the hijacking, The Associated Press reports

The kidnapped crew included seven sailors from Togo, four from Benin, two from Ivory Coast, two from Senegal, one from China and one from South Korea, according to AP.

West African coastal pirate attacks have been on the rise these past few years; just last month, another oil tanker owned by Nigerian-based Brita Energy was seized in the region, the BBC reports.