Monday, April 22, 2024

Pirates kidnap sailors

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LAGOS, Nigeria – Pirates kidnapped 12 foreign sailors off the coast of Nigeria’s restive and oil-rich southern delta during an attack that left one crew member injured, a naval spokesman said yesterday. Commodore David Nabaida told The Associated Press that pirates boarded the German-flagged cargo ship BBC Palonia Friday night off the coast of the Niger Delta near the Bonny River fairway. A struggle broke out during the attack and pirates shot one crew member in the leg during the fight, Nabaida said. Nabaida said the Nigerian navy escorted the ship to safe waters and transported the wounded Ukrainian sailor to a local hospital. The sailor was in stable condition Saturday afternoon, he said.“All efforts are being made to . . . rescue the kidnapped crew,” the commodore said. Nabaida said the navy had suspects in mind for the attack, but declined to offer further details. He said the crew consisted of sailors from Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine. The attack came after 12 pirates in speed boats attacked a bulk carrier in the same area June 27. The International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy worldwide, reported that the pirates shot at crew members with locally made firearms while trying to board the ship. Crew members repelled the attack using a slingshot, the bureau said. One sailor suffered  minor injuries during the assault. Such attacks have been common in the Niger Delta. (AP)

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