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White House concerned by increase in piracy in West Africa

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: The White House said on Thursday (October 24) it is concerned about the rise in piracy off the coast of West Africa, and is seeking more information about reports that pirates have kidnapped two U.S. citizens from an oil supply vessel in the Gulf of Guinea. "We are seeking additional information so that we can contribute to the safe resolution of the situation," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing. "More broadly, we are concerned by the disturbing increase in the incidence of maritime crime, including incidents of piracy off the coast of West Africa, specifically in the Gulf of Guinea," Carney said. Carney said the White House's main concern was the safe return of the two kidnapping victims. Pirates attacked an oil supply vessel off the Nigerian coast and kidnapped the captain and chief engineer, both U.S. citizens, an American defense official and security sources said earlier on Thursday.

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