Armed Russian guards lock up activists on ship: Greenpeace

Armed Russian guards lock up activists on ship: Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists boarding Gazprom's 'Prirazlomnaya' Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea.

MOSCOW - Environmental group Greenpeace said Thursday that armed Russian officers had stormed its ship protesting oil exploration in the Arctic and detained all its crew in a locked room.

Activist Faiza Oulahsen called AFP from Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise icebreaker and said the crew had been locked in the ship's mess.

"Twenty-nine of us are being held in the same room," said Oulahsen, 26, who said that between 10 and 12 officers apparently from Russian security services had boarded the ship.

"No one has been hurt, and spirits are high. The crew is however not in control of the ship at this point," Greenpeace wrote on Twitter.

Two other Greenpeace activists detained earlier by Russian coastguards were also locked in the ship's mess, said Oulahsen, before she abruptly hung up, saying she could not talk any longer.

The two men, from Finland and Switzerland, were detained when they tried to scale an oil platform owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom in the Barents Sea on Wednesday and held overnight.

Greenpeace said earlier that men armed with machine guns had boarded the ship by lowering themselves on ropes from a helicopter.

The environmental activism group said it believed its Dutch-flagged ship was in international waters when the raid began.

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