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      Nigeria rebels in touch with U.S. mariner kidnappers

      AP Photo

      LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Rebels in Nigeria's troubled and oil-rich Niger Delta say they are in contact with the kidnappers of two U.S. mariners and can help ensure their safety.

      Officials say the captain and an engineer of the U.S.-flagged vessel named C-Retriever were taken from the offshore supply vessel during a Wednesday afternoon attack in the Gulf of Guinea.

      An email reportedly from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says the men were captured off the coast of the Nigerian town of Brass.

      Nigeria's navy says they are searching for the kidnapped men. They have reported freeing at least two hostages this year and killing several pirates in counter attacks. An American kidnapped from the oil-refining city of Warri last year was freed after a week in captivity.