[QODLink]
Africa

Pirates snatch men from tanker off Nigeria

Ukrainian captain and Greek first engineer kidnapped late on Monday night when their boat was besieged by pirates.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2013 16:40
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Pirate attacks off the coast of Nigeria have increased by a third this year [Al Jazeera]

Pirates have attacked an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped two men, a Greek coast guard official said.

Ten pirates boarded the 18-crew ship, the 6,500 tonne Marshall Islands-flaggged MT ALTHE, and took its Ukrainian captain and Greek first engineer hostage late on Monday. 

They kidnapped the two men but did not touch the cargo (oil) or injure anyone.

Greek coast guard official

The attack took place 35 nautical miles off the oil-producing Niger Delta coastline, a Nigerian security source said.

The two hostages were taken away by speedboat to an undisclosed location. The rest of the tanker's men were robbed of personal items but were not hurt.

"They kidnapped the two men but did not touch the cargo (oil) or injure anyone," an official said.

The ship's manager, Piraeus-based Medtankers Management, confirmed the attack on Tuesday.

"We are doing everything we can for their release," an official said, adding that so far, no demand for ransom had been received.

Pirate attacks off the coast of Nigeria have increased by a third this year. West Africa's Gulf of Guinea is a target for gangs wanting to steal cargo.

Unlike Africa's east coast, where ships are protected by armed guards, ships passing through the Gulf of Guinea have little protection.

Sailors and oil workers taken hostage in Nigerian waters are usually released unharmed once a ransom has been paid.

The Nigerian navy is conducting an investigation into the attack, a spokesman said.

269

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.